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Mudpuppeh

Monday, September 10, 2007

Chetfans, I think you're going to like this one. Thanks for all the wonderful comments on the autumn melancholia post. How is it that shorter days cause us to reflect on our lives in their entirety, set up such a restlessness and a wondering? I think I have it figured out, in part, but that's another post.

Bill and I don’t walk much in the summer woods. Any time past early May, the understory growth is so heavy, the briars so thick, that, coupled with the heat and steep slopes, walking doesn’t constitute fun.

But we got a wild hair and decided to see what Beechy Crash might look like in early September, on a 90-degree day, no less. We needed to get into the woods. Chet Baker could hardly believe it. He was overjoyed. To have a woods walk in growing season, and to have Daddeh along? Oh!
We came to the log he always traverses, a good ten-foot drop beneath it onto a rocky stream bed. “Chet! Do you want to walk the log?” Since I almost always walk here alone, Bill had never seen him in log-balancing action.
Without a moment's hesitation, Baker dropped what he was doing, sprang up onto it and trotted back and forth twice with an aplomb that said, “I come by this grace naturally.” Little CatDog.
As we worked our way back up the steepest slope to home, though, Chet vanished. It was the kind of gone that didn’t feel good. No jingling tags, just silence. We began to call, and call.
After what seemed like a very long time, I heard him panting. I heard him breathing long before I could hear him moving through the leaves. Clearly, he’d found something good to chase, in 90-degree heat, too. I’m thinking it was the black and white cat he treed last winter, which doesn’t seem to get how much we dislike it hanging around our sanctuary. But at length, he came back.

Overdoing it in hot, humid conditions isn’t good for any dog, but the brachycephalic (smashy-faced) dogs suffer more, and have a harder time getting their body temperature back down, because they don’t have nice long nasal passages to cool incoming air.

He struggled up the hill, panting like a steam engine. We walked slowly along the oil well access road until we came to a tire rut full of muddy water.
And Chet Baker decided to cool himself down.This is a fastidious dog. Normally he’d never deign to step in water like this. But he needed to get his body temperature down fast, and he flopped down like a pig in a waller. Good boy. That's thinking.Like a hog in mud.

This feels good. I think I will rub my head in the mud. Ahhh.While I am at it I will drink some of this icky water. I am just too hot to refuse it. I prefer the reverse-osmosis, quintuple-filtered, carbon-polished water Mether gives me at home. But after all I am a dog, and dogs drink from puddles.Blecch. Maybe I will leave out that part of being a dog.
Bill was shooting me, shooting Chet. Jane calls Boston terriers "canine antidepressants."

All the rear views are Bill’s; the front views are mine. I have to say he got the definitive doggy ‘tock shots.

This would be my favorite. Hello, Cute Overload? He looks like a George Booth cartoon dog in this picture, ears canted back, cranky even from behind.When he rose, the muddy water poured off him in sheets. His panting slowed and we walked back the rest of the way to the house. Although he’s normally afraid of the hose, I set it on a gentle stream, called him to me and rubbed him down under the cool water. Oh, he loved that. And so did I.

6 comments:

I was just obsessively clicking your little thingy up top that implores me to "Click here", and I came across this gem from the past. And NO ONE commented on it? Is that even possible?

Ditto what Susan said. How did we miss this?

I remember lots of comments from this one. I think though, that when Julie switched her blog over, many of the comments on most of the entries did not survive the switch for whatever reason.

In going back over old entries, there are many that have no comments at all and I distinctly remember posting my own comment on some of them.

Loved this! Thank you ;-)

Loved the description of your doggy as canine anti-depressant. So very true! I smile every time I'm greeted at home by my girls - they get wild when they see me and it makes my heart glad.

A gem that I missed! Thanks for posting years laterZ!!!

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