Dear Paws to Talk,

Everyday, I sniff around my yard but my scent is always interrupted by the giant stonewall along the yard edges. Ever since I was a puppy, I wanted to get over the stonewall to follow a juicy smell that lies on the other side. The problem is I am a bit overweight and not known for my jumping ability.  Each time I am in the yard, I try to jump over the wall but can barely get my hind legs off the ground. Is it wishful thinking to believe I can get over the wall?

 -Cliff the Basset Hound

Howl Cliff,

We are glad you wrote us. We have a lot of experience jumping stonewalls. Our humans have a high one surrounding our yard. Usually every week, we jump it to check out a stream on the other side. We are lucky because we are natural jumpers. This is part of being genetically gifted Poodles. What can we say?

Although jumping comes somewhat easily to us, you will be relieved to hear that DiDi is not the best at jumping. She has had to practice hard to perfect this skill. Now she can jump up onto anything including our humans’ bed, which is very tall.

We recommend you start a jumping regimen in your yard to build up your leg muscles.  Focus on something above you: a tree, the sky, your humans’ pant leg and try to grab it. Do this for at least a couple of weeks (You might pick up a cute little Poodle thanks to your newly toned legs). Then try for the wall again. Instead of trying to leap over the whole thing in one move, start by finding a crevice in the wall to place your hind leg and then push yourself up.  Then jump little by little until you reach the other side. You can do it

Sometimes, humans think we can’t do certain things but it is our job to prove them wrong. You always have to believe in yourself. We believe we can do anything and we work to prove it everyday. Good luck Cliff. Write back and let us know what you find over the wall.

Woof,

Bella and DiDi