Rescue Dog Braves the Great Outdoors: Skye Breaks Free

We’ve had a pretty big event here in our Weigel household today: Skye WENT OUT THE FRONT DOOR! For those of you who don’t know about Skye (see previous posts Night Skye and A Celebration of Skye’s First Year), she came to me over a year ago as a puppy, near death and wild. She’d been used as a bait dog to teach fighting dogs how to kill and was covered with puncture wounds. The vet didn’t know if she could ever have anything like a normal dog’s life but, slowly, she’s been opening more and more to new experiences.

Building up the Courage!

I built a large enclosure for my cats so they could have an outdoor experience in spite of the resident pack of about 15 coyotes living in the arroyo next to my house. Until today, Skye had only ventured into the kitty enclosure. She was curious about the front door. Kelee and I go through it every day for our walks, and Kelee goes in and out all the time, but she never chose to go through it herself. What made the difference is a neighbor dog who’s come to call every morning lately. She’s watched Kelee go out to play with him and, for about three days now, she’s hovered at the threshold yearning to join them.

Finally, today, she couldn’t take it any more and she burst free. It was so beautiful to watch her run like that—full out. She never could in the kitty enclosure (and now she’s totally sacked, sound asleep and dreaming). Here’s the full event in a sequence of photos and video:

Cautious Exploration

Outdoors is the Best Thing Ever!

So, yet again, Skye is offering us a lesson. I watched her do battle for days with her fear. She wanted to go play with the other dogs, but the house interior and cat enclosure were what she knew. What untold dangers awaited her in that great expanse? A step over the threshold and her world, as she knew it, would be changed forever. It is so much easier for all of us to stay in what we know, even when our souls are urging us on—often to our true desires. As Mickey Hart, the Grateful Dead drummer, so succinctly put it, “Adventures don’t begin until you get into the forest. That first step is an act of faith.”

Skye fulfilled her own act of faith today and what she gained is tremendous. That’s the real lesson: there is so much of life waiting for us on the other side of our fear, but in order to live it, we have to let go of whatever is holding us back. And that ain’t easy for any of us. But we can do it, as Skye showed us today. Untold mystery and magic, possibly the very reason we were born on this earth, await us there.

Come on, jump in… the water’s fine!

Love to you all,

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