Trust-Fall Kenda

bloodhounds -

Trust-Fall Kenda

I truly intended to write a training article tonight, but I felt like sharing something fun instead. (We’ll get serious tomorrow.)

We all know what a “trust-fall” is, right? It’s that “team-building exercise” that some office guru made famous... You know, you turn your back, close your eyes and just fall backwards, trusting (hoping, praying, grimacing) that your partner will catch you. That’s a trust-fall. Not a bad thing if your buddy catches you as instructed, but darn sure a fistfight if they were to just watch you crash into a heap of bones and bruises on the ground.

Well, one of my bloodhounds is the supreme master of the trust-fall. There’s no one on earth better at Kenda.

The trust-fall first entered our lives more than a year and a half ago now. It was one day after a walk at the park...

I opened the passenger door of my truck and 16-week old Kenda was sitting there, facing away from me on the backseat bench.

I said to her, “Let’s go, Kendylou.”

Rather than turning around to look at me, she flipped her head up and over, and looked at me upside down. She was wagging her tail excitedly. That’s when I saw her paws hop up off the seat and she kinda reared-up... To my utter amazement, she suddenly flipped straight over backwards off the seat into the empty space between us.

I don’t even think I had time to gasp, squeak, or cuss, I just flung myself forward and halfass caught her little chunky body before she hit the ground.

“Kenda!!!” I blared, “What in the world?!”

She just wagged and wiggled and kissed my face.

Now, that’s cute and funny and all with a puppy, but fast-forward and add 70lbs and it went like this...

”Kenda, no!!! Kend—NO—!!!”

I didn’t matter that I knew it was coming—I couldn’t stop it. The Kenda trust-fall machine was geared for action and unstoppable. I could see that look on her face...and then she flipped her head upside down looking at me with that big smile...and then those paws started to get light and hop up off the seat...

I tried to shut the truck door but it didn’t was too late...


She back-flipped into the air, falling, trusting me to catch her.

At 90+ lbs, it’s easy to fumble the catch, and that particular day, I did. BIGTIME. Poor baby Kenda (10 months old at that time) trust-flung herself right over backwards and clean through my flailing arms onto the gravel driveway. I, too, fell in the attempt to save her.


Now, you’d think she’d be mad, hurt, scared, right? Nope. Not the master of the trust-fall! She was happy. She was wagging her tail getting up from the heap where I had allowed her to fall. I felt terrible!! I hated me for it! But there she was, all happy to see me on the ground next to her. 

I was certain that was the last time she’d ever flip over backwards out of the truck, or anywhere for that matter. I’ll be honest, it was a mix of relief but disappointment, too. I loved the Kenda trust-fall, but I couldn’t risk her getting hurt by ever encouraging her to do it again. 

This is where the heart of a dog surprises us...

The very next day, much to my shock and awe, Kenda sat waiting for me to open the truck door, facing away...head up...looking over her back with front feet getting lighter... goofy grin... wagging tail... and flip! 

Trussst Faaaalllllll!!!!!!!!!!!!

That time I caught her. But we both still crumbled to the ground, me laughing too hard to stay upright under the load. 

Unreal. I had dropped her like a sack of potatoes on the ground just the day before and she held no grudge. No offense. No unforgiveness. Her trust wasn’t even tarnished at all!! How can it be?

I’ll tell you how.

Because dogs are something better than we are. They love without condition. They trust even when we don’t deserve it. And they take joy in the simple things in life that we all take for granted. 

Jolie Kenda McGruff is 2 years old now. And she still trust-falls sometimes. Just a few weeks back I was sitting on the bed and she jumped up to sit beside me. I could hear her tail thumping on the comforter. She lifted her chin up in the air with that goofy grin. She leaned her shoulder into mine a bit and started to hop her front feet up off the bed. 

“You’re kidding me, you really want to?!” I asked her, laughing. “Okay...Trust-Fall Kenda.”

I put my arm around her and flipped us both over backwards on the mattress. She was wagging and wiggling and happy as she could be. 

Thanks for reading my blog! If you enjoyed this, please share it! Check out my other hound stories here and watch for new posts that will likely give you a chuckle at my expense! While you’re here, please take a look at my pet portraits page and share with your friends! If you feel like perusing my k9 lovers t-shirts, use discount code THANKYOU15 for an additional 15% off the already killer sale prices! The hounds and I truly think you for helping our small business grow!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published