It's not who you think it is. Hermione can "out mud" anyone and so I've dubbed her "Her Royal Majesty, Queen Mud Puppy." But it's the big silly Yellow dog, who like Glacier is more white than yellow, that is Her Royal Highness Princess Mud Puppy.
Whenever I free run Hermione I have resigned myself to the fact that she will come back muddy. She's low to the ground which means when she runs the mud doesn't have far to go to coat her under side. She's also so feathery that anything that is the least bit sticky clings to her legs, tail, ears and sometimes even her chest fur. Just the other day upon returning home from a run, I had to pull twigs and mud not only off of her bum and leg feathers, but a good sized stick had stuck itself to her chest. I free run her nearly every day and so I've become accustomed to having to drop her into the tub to at least rinse her off. Soap is not used every time as it would dry her skin and coat out, but I should probably invest some stocks in a doggie shampoo company; especially now that I have another royal mud dweller. Unlike Hermione who just gets muddy as par for the course, I think Miss Nala goes looking for it.
I have finally been given permission to free run Nala by the trainer. She had two free running sessions during class, but I was advised to not allow her to free run until we'd been home for three weeks. It's mostly to keep the dog under control and save their energy up for the remaining of the home training that you do. I was excited though when the trainer said I could take her for a run. I think he meant for me to wait until Sunday or even Monday, but I've been working on housework and school work all day and she really hasn't worked a lot. She was certainly getting antsy. So, out for a run we went.
It wasn't the most gorgeous weather we've ever had, but it wasn't raining and the sun was trying to peak through. So it wasn't that bad. I walked her on leash to the park using my cane and did some quick obedience. Then, I set her free and meandered about the park while she ran circles around me. It was mid-afternoon so it wasn't too busy which suited me. It's our first free run on our own and I didn't want her running small children over in her excitement.
For the first few minutes she galloped full tilt across the fields and back, but it didn't take her long to start finding the puddles. The first one she came across was only a shallow puddle that only ever accumulates if we had a good amount of rain. If it's been nice out, it dries up. We've had some rain and so she was able to splash around in it. It probably came up to her ankles, but the way she was splashing, I knew she was going to have at least a wet belly. I whistled for her and she immediately returned, very proud of herself. I had her sit and released her again. She tore off across the fields again.
After a few minutes of racing, I heard another, and much bigger, sploosh. She had found the next bit of water that hardly ever dries up. She was up to her belly frolicking happily. The damage was done by that point and even though I called her back, I knew she'd just keep finding wet spots to play in.
During our class free runs, she had returned wet, but I wasn't sure if she was drawn to water like a true Retriever or if she just happened to find some and play in it. My question was answered today when she repeatedly pranced through, jumped into, splashed and rolled in every mud/water puddle she could find. I couldn't see her, but I had a sneaking suspicion that my white dog was now black and/or brown. I suppose I could have stopped her, but after the second puddle, there really was no point. She was already soaked and she was having so much fun.
When we got home I toweled her off and used baby wipes on her paws and face. I also had waterless shampoo which we've had to use on Roscoe a few times before and so I attacked her with the stuff just to make sure there wasn't any weird bacteria on her fur. I was actually surprised that she wasn't dirtier. She had mostly dried on the walk home and the mud must have flaked off. I know at one point she had been quite brown because a passing by dog walker said,
"Someone sure knows how to have fun."
Isn't that the truth.
Now, the question is: does she know how and does she have the desire to swim? I guess we'll have to take her to the beach and find out.
As for my mud puppies, it's just a part of owning dogs and if it makes them happy, whether their encounter with the stuff is intentional, then I'll keep toweling/showering/dry shampooing them.