When i first brought Cashew home she was pretty little. Fearless as she was, the porch steps were too tall for her little legs and she couldn’t make it no matter how hard she tried. So i carried her up and down them each time. However, one day i noticed her reach for the next step with a paw and i realized her legs had grown longer and she was finally capable. I started encouraging her to try the stairs. I would leave her at the top of the stairs and then Sili and i would go down them and call to her to join us. Similarly, when it was time to go in Sili and i would climb up on the porch and call to Cashew at the bottom of the steps. She would whimper and pace and sometimes even sit in the dirt and cry but she would never come. I was bewildered. She found a way around all the things she wasn’t supposed to and yet she couldn’t figure out stairs. Then one day i let Sili out in the yard, i went in the yard, and Cashew remained at the front door on the porch. I called to her and she took a triumphant running leap. She landed clumsily on the next step but you could see the realization on her face that she didn’t die. Suddenly she had found her courage. She did the next step and the next and before she knew it she was in the yard with the big girls. I was so proud of her! I felt like my heart might explode. I threw my arms open and said, “You’re such a good girl! Co’mere!” She came bounding towards me in the yard, ears flapping and tongue flying in the wind. She knew she did good, for her little stumpy tail was wagging a million miles an hour. For the next few days she went up and down and up and down those stairs a million times, cuz she knew she got cuddles and baby talk every time she did it. Cashew had a new skill to add to her bag of tricks. She could do stairs.