Dog’s Wall Walking Career Comes to an End Maybe

My dog Chico is a Wall Walker. That’s the only way I can think of to try to explain what he does. He walks horizontally across the face of cliffs as perpendicular as a wall, especially the cliff face behind the little theater in the community where we live.

The first time I saw him do this, I was dumbstruck. He didn’t walk atop the cliff like any normal being. Rather he took off across the vertical face, racing rapidly in a kind of controlled fall, his paws reaching for the little stones that make up the conglomerate of the cliff face. A shower of stones fell as he’d move along thirty feet or so and at a height of maybe twenty feet.

How did he do that?” I wondered, marveling at the heroism of my little terrier mix who’d survived near death weeks after his birth when he was left in a plastic bag under a car to die. Infested, half-starved, he’d recovered slowly while lying in his little bed at my feet for weeks.

Young Chico before he was a super hero

Regretfully, he is there again now. Gravity caught up with my Chico, just as it did for Karl Wellenda of the Flying Wellendas, perhaps the greatest high wire walker in history. One day I opened the door to a bloody little boy dog covered with scratches and scrapes from head to toe. He had dragged himself home on three paws, his fourth useless and dislocated. The cliff had finally won.

Unlike Karl Wellenda who tragically fell to his death, Chico is depressed, but he is going to live. He is spending his days back on the cushion at my feet, sleeping and dreaming of the glory years no doubt. Soon he’ll be back on all fours.

The Wall Walker, banged up but recovering

But how will I explain to Chico that he’s too slow and fat now to attempt to walk the cliff face again? How will I tell him that he’s too old? Will he listen?

Truthfully, I don’t know. Perhaps experience will be his teacher, but I wonder if anyone told Karl he was past his prime before he took the big dive. Seriously, could anyone tell Superman it was time to take off the cape?

Even if they had, I doubt if Karl would have listened. Perhaps a glorious fall in the attempt is the perfect way for a Wall Walker to go.