Everyone is an apprentice all the time. Everything we learn takes us to a different place which is at least a little unfamiliar. We finish things and move on and where we move on is terra incognita. At this point in my life, I think any feeling of certainty I have about something is probably an illusion to make me more comfortable for the moment.
Lately I’ve had the sense that Bear is trying to tell me that she can be trusted. I stopped trusting her two years ago when she discovered she could dive through the very dense and tall lilac hedge and get out of the yard. That meant she has never been FREEEEEE to just go out the backdoor. I go with her to the dog run and be sure she is secured inside. Yesterday I didn’t close the back gate completely and suddenly, as I was uncovering the peonies, there was a dancing Bear right beside me. I said, “What are you doing here?”
She ran a circuit around the side yard (where the hedge is) and came back to me; then she did it again. When she stopped she looked at me like, “See?”
It may be that Bear has completed her apprenticeship and is ready for me to regard her as an adult dog who can make smart choices. But if not… You see, there’s a highway in front of my house 😦 and I love Bear a LOT.