|Can you tell he's been running?|
It was an atypically warm October day here today – in the high 70s – so we went for a prairie walk. Alfie loves nothing better than to run free in the prairie (although he actually stays mostly on the mown path). There was no one else on the path, only one other car, and it was parked on the far side of the park, so Alfie was allowed off leash to be a “real dog,” a running, sniffing, exploring nature dog. When we are able to let Alf loose at the prairie, he runs ahead and doubles back numerous times in the time it takes us to walk 50 yards. All this with plenty of stops to sniff, to let other dogs know he’s passed by (if you know what I mean), and to poke his head into the tall prairie grass because, well, you just don’t know what intriguing things might be in there.
We have a usual circuit we walk that takes us around a good chunk of the 240 acres of the preserve. Alfie knows the way, and never gets too far ahead. A little more than halfway around our circuit, we cross a raised walkway over the wetland and walk up a slope to follow the path around a large pond. Alfie often noses down to the pond but comes back up when we call. Not today. Maybe he was thirsty, or maybe he was really feeling the call of the wild, but he ran out into the shallow muck of the pond for a little drink.
And, wow! Alfie says, there are FROGS in this pond! Frogs that hop away and splash and are really fun to jump at and chase! Cool! And the mud! What a bonus! And then you can come out halfway down the pond and run through the tall, dry grass where seeds can stick in your wet fur! People? Why haven’t I done this fun stuff before???
When we got home, we sprayed him down with the hose and left him outside to drip dry for a while, then brought him in for a bath. I wish I’d gotten a photo of him in the tub; he looked so pathetic, like he couldn’t believe a human would do such a thing to a noble nature dog as cover him with scented puppy shampoo! The indignity! After a good toweling off, he rolled around on the rugs in order to cover them with damp dog hair and then fell asleep on his bed, clean and tired, where he’s remained most of the day. Ah! To lead a dog’s life!