Spike got a great treat today as my parents came out from California to see him. Spike seizures had just started up again the last time they were in town so they hadn't had a chance to see him truly healthy in quite awhile.
By the time we got together, Spike had already had a full day with a long walk through the woods and some time at the playground. I thought he would be tired but he was full of energy. At the same time, he was a little hesitant, almost afraid of certain things. Going up in a glass backed elevator and walking along a balcony really seemed to scare him.
The weather was once again perfect so we decided to take the boat out. Spike held on very tightly as I led him down the long, narrow dock. He had never been on the new boat and certainly never walked on a rickety, long dock before so I worried a bit about his stability and fear. While he was certainly concerned, he was also determined to go on the boat because he knows boats are the source of most of my adventures.
Once he got settled in the cabin, he seemed comfortable but still a little uncertain of everything so I went very slowly to a nearby cove that I knew would be very still. I put the anchor down in two feet of water and suddenly Spike was excited and happy. He even asked to go outside the cabin so he could look around. Any traces of fear seemed blown away by the breeze. That made me incredibly happy because, just as I did with Emily for years, I really want to take Spike on some cool boat trips.
We really didn't want to leave as the weather and scenery were perfect but the sun sets quickly this time of year so we headed back after a great 30 minutes at anchor. Spike seemed much more confident walking back along the dock to the car (still holding my hand and wearing a life jacket of course). When we got back to my parents' hotel he again hesitated a bit at the elevator and the open balcony.
That's when it hit me. I was concerned about how his illness, medications and general coordination might be affecting his comfort level. Perhaps I should have focused more on genetics. When I was his age (and for many years as I grew up), I was absolutely terrified of heights, unsteady movement and boats. Even when I got out of college, I had a problem going up in tall buildings or flying. A big part of the reason I started sailing was to overcome these fears and it has, mostly, worked. To this day, I shake whenever I get up on a ladder to change a light bulb. So maybe Spike is actually doing better than I should expect when it comes to these things. He certainly seemed comfortable at the end of our little cruise. Even more important, he is exuberant whenever he gets outside and actually does something. It's great to see him smile and laugh at everything.
A little time afloat with grandma and grandpa was the perfect ending to the best Thanksgiving weekend I've ever had.