Sunday, February 13, 2011

Dogs in the River

I don't take a camera when we know dogs are going into the river.

Today is the last warm day we'll have for a while; rainy, blustery weather is on its way again, for a little while. We went and hauled another load of wood with our cars yesterday, and that will not only get us through next week's chill but should also last us until next fall. However, with the impending chilly low fronts headed toward us, I knew that today was a day for Howie to have a bath. And what is the point of bathing a dog who is only a little in need of the bath? How much better to have to bathe a dog who has been in the river mud and REALLY needs a bath!

The Stanislaus River is low right now -- the Sierra snowpack that feeds it isn't ready for a big melt yet. The result is a large sand bar exposed down by the river park. Good place for dogs to play ... and apparently, a good place for families, too. There were a couple dozen people there, with lawn chairs and sunblock and picnic foods, sitting in the warmish air (65 degrees) and letting their kids wade in the shallow shelf off the beach.

Fortunately, they were all on the eastern end of the beach, which left the western end for two dogs thrilled to be allowed in the water. Howie, upon learning that he was allowed in, waded into the water and lay down in it, something he has loved all his life. Now, I understand that behavior when it is really hot, but when the water is icy and the day is barely warm?

They chased sticks and brought them back; they stuck their heads underwater and found water-logged sticks to bring to shore. They leaped and splashed and plunged into the deeper river channel and had to swim against the current to get back to us, and then charged back into the icy water a zillion times more.

We had dog towels ready back at the car, and dog shampoo waiting for our return to the house. Sebastian willingly got in the shower with his Daddy, loving a continuation of water games, but Howie had to endure a long bath outside where there's a nozzle with a strong flow, due to his dirt-trapping undercoat. For him, we hooked up a hose to the kitchen sink so he could have a warm rinse.

No surprise that both dogs are snugged in already for the night, Sebastian in his Muvver's bed (I hope she doesn't mind damp sheets) and Howie on the love seat in the living room with a blanket over him. (I went to pet him a few minutes ago and found him shivering, my poor lamb. I'll give him some warm broth and rice with his food tonight.)

And then it's back to Winter for a week.

1 comment:

Alexandra said...

When you don't bring a camera, you are morally obligated to make an art. (Leave an art? Fire off an art? Cut an art?)

*pounds table* SKETCH! SKETCH!!