I am simultaneously overwhelmed with both joy and sadness when I think about how my life has changed in this year. I found myself and Macy alone on a very familiar trail this past week and I couldn't help but run a comparison / contrast list of the girls whose six I always chase.
Mabel was so tall and proud. She had a perpetual hitch in her giddyup when she walked. It reminded me of the cow kickers my grandfather had to put on Annabelle, one of the dairy cows that liked to nail me when I came near her milking stall. Mabel's leg would only go back so far when it seemed to catch on some invisible kicker and snap back to the ground, only to repeat on the opposite side. Still she wore her strut with pride and seemed to walk en pointe like a ballerina ready to leap. And leap she did. I've seen her run with wild deer, catch up to them and match them stride for stride. While I'm certain it was terrifying for the deer, Mabel was mostly impressed that something could run as fast as she.
Macy, on the other hand, is short and squat. She walks with a waddle. She runs in panic, as if she must see all she can see and smell all she can smell as quickly as possible...lest she never see and smell it ever again. She has no fear of ducks and no amount of explaining that those ducks are likely her nieces and nephews will stop her from terrorizing them! She clearly needs to have an encounter with Mama Mallory!
Mabel Lou was fearless. She clearly saw herself as my protector. I kinda liked knowing this big, bad looking dog had my back. Mabel never asked me for help with anything until she was 10 years old... Such an independent girl. She would ask her aunties, but never me.
Macy had her first encounter with a choya and ran headlong into my leg, leaving me nursing my own choya wounds. Her instinct upon getting hurt was, "Find Mom NOW!" I kinda like being the protector.
Both girls favor the parallel hike...not hiking with me but often on a ridge above me. While I spent many hikes perpetually looking for Mabel, Macy checks in and she stays fairly close when it's just the two of us. That's a side benefit of her getting lost on one of our first off leash outings.
Both girls are so exquisitely happy, off leash and on the trail! And Macy has yet to see the river flowing. I can't wait until she knows the joy of cooling off on a hot day.