A leap too far?

The waterfall at Gouloux

Le Saut de Gouloux

One day while in the Morvan, we decided to make our daily outing to the Saut de Gouloux. Despite the name (saut=leap in French), this is actually a small waterfall which used to be used for milling. This seemed like exactly the kind of thing we could do with Spencer. So we loaded up the car, drove the 10 km or so and then realized we’d forgotten the short leash. Another roundtrip and we started on what we expected to be a nice hike.

We’re not sure what exactly was the cause, but Spencer was crazy during the walk. By crazy, I mean pulling relentlessly at the leash and reacting to strangers who were not really that near us and not even moving. These are our hypotheses:

  1. Spencer drinking from the stream, wearing his orange backpack

    Spencer’s “really into” the Cure.

    Although we didn’t realize it until we finished the walk (because there’s a long, winding panoramic path to get to the waterfall), the falls were actually just across the street from the parking lot. I’ve already noticed that when Spencer can hear water crashing, he’s uncontrollable until he can get to it and drink. (However, one of the first things he did on the walk was jump in the stream and drink a lot, so that seems to refute that idea.)

  2. Spencer was wearing his backpack, and this is the first time he’s worn it for an excursion and not just a trip to the recycling bin.
  3. Spencer was carrying a bottle of water in each pocket of the backpack. That weight would have felt different than carrying empty glass bottles.

We’re really not sure. Two days later, we took him to another waterfall, wearing his normal harness and he was just fine, despite having to navigate long stairs into a gorge.

But back to the ill-fated day at the Saut. Having him pull at the leash in his stress did have its uses. While it was terrifying when we were heading downhill, it was a handy way to get uphill.

Spencer pulls Kristen uphill.As soon as we arrived at the waterfall, Spencer fixated on the two nice ladies sitting across from it and taking in the lovely view. They were next to the exit path and were nice enough to move out of the way so we could get Spencer out of there without incident.

A stressed Spencer pulls hard on the leash as we arrived at the waterfall and saw two Scary Women sitting nearby.He calmed down immensely as soon as he got back in the car, which has become a haven for him. It’s a like a create or den on wheels. Someone said we should call it the Spencermobile, kind of like the Popemobile!


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