The last couple of mornings have been busy ones for Nala and .. We've started walking early in the mornings to avoid the heat and have found some really cool walking spots; thanks to Kim and another of our friends. Our other friend has a young Lab puppy too, around the same age as Kayla and it's been a lot of fun to have the dogs around. This morning Kim unfortunately couldn't join us so my friend, her Lab puppy, me and Nala all headed out for an early morning walk.
We started on a multi-purpose path that we walked the other afternoon. Kim and I had tried to walk it yesterday, but were told to turn around by a cyclist because there was a bear.
I live in a city where you have to worry about bears being in your backyard. :)
This morning we decided to try the path again since it has a great hill to help build fitness. I think even the dogs are breathing hard by the time we reach the top. This morning was no different. However, on the way down, we decided to let Nala and the Lab puppy off to have some free run time. It's been difficult to find appropriate places to let Nala off to leash free run and so I am afraid she doesn't get as much free running as she should. I'm not worried about her. She's friendly, well behaved and has one killer recall. It's other people's dogs. Well, more the people than the dogs.
It can't be all work and no play; especially for a young dog.
I had Nala sit and stay while I rummaged my various "free running" equipment out of my bag. I was impressed that she sat, leash off, while I dug out her treats and my recall whistle. Once released though she was off like a shot. I warned my friend that if there was mud to be found that Nala would find it. Unsurprisingly, there was mud and even more unsurprisingly, Nala found it. She also taught the puppy the joys of mud too. Both dogs were covered and smelled horrible.
As we neared the car we weighed our clean-up options.
1. Take the dogs to the "pet wash" which cost five bucks an animal.
2. Take them to the river and let them swim.
3. Take them home and hose them off.
4. Take them home and wash them in our own bath tubs.
We opted for option number 2, but not before we stopped to grab a coffee to go.
Initially, we were going to take the dogs to the area of the park where people let their dogs run free all of the time. It's on the river, but a few things changed our minds.
1. We're really not supposed to be there with leash free dogs. Sure, everyone else does it, but it's a point of contention between dog owners and the city.
2. Roscoe has been attacked there. And, when he was attacked we were the ones to leash up our dogs and leave...not the a***ho** whose dog attacked Roscoe. I've been uneasy about the place ever since.
So, my friend suggested we try the sailing club. We wouldn't have to walk in, past who knows how many off leash dogs and try to carry our hot coffee while trying to keep the dogs under control. Plus, there shouldn't be anyone at the sailing club.
When we arrived there was a man setting up his fishing rod. We were concerned that we'd disturb him, but upon getting out of the car and judging his reaction to the dogs, we knew we'd be fine.
My friend went out on to the dock, thinking that there was a ramp in to the water, but there wasn't. It was at that exact moment that her puppy decided that he was Jesus and could walk on water.
Well, he's not Jesus and he surely can't walk on water.
The pup is about 9 months old, but hasn't had any exposure to deep water because of how bad our winter was this year. He was swimming, but he started to panic, his little doggie paws coming up out of the water. I'm not entirely sure how the events completely unfolded because there was a lot of commotion going on. Suddenly, though, I realised that Nala was in the water too. I couldn't tell you if she jumped in or walked in off the shore, but she was swimming out to her friend.
I've never seen Nala swim before and judging by how she too was trying to swim over the water instead of through it, I don't think she's done it before either. But, she kept going. She got to her friend and looked at him as if to say
"come with me" and turned and swam back to the shore. She got herself out and came hurtling to me.
"I tried, Mama. I really did."
Her friend was too concerned about his predicament to realise what she was trying to show him and it took his person grabbing him by the scruff and hauling him out.
It took me a while to realise what Nala had really done. Actually, it's only now that I really realise just how intuitive she is. She really is one in a million. It's like her guiding training kicked in even in the water for her doggie friend. I wonder what she'll think of me going into the lake this summer; once the lakes warm up a bit.
We finished our coffee, enjoying the sunshine and watching the two dogs run about like maniacs. They both went back in again, but didn't have any troubles getting out. Their swimming skills left a bit to be desired. There was much splashing and whacking of the water with front paws. Nala might be a lifeguard, but she really needs some technique lessons.
My girl never ceases to amaze me. I'm one lucky human to have such a fantastic dog in my life.