Dogs need exercise, they need to be socialized and dogs need to feel freedom. But do it – responsibly.
Discovery comes naturally to me. It was like the days when I would try to dig my way under the fence and get out of the backyard! Except that today, I was on a lead. Notice that I’m not complaining. I’m getting everything out of life that I can.
Here we were, my mom and I, without a care in the world. When I stopped to sniff, my mom stopped. When I started moving again, my mom moved. When I stopped again, she stopped.
I come from a long line of retrievers. Bred to retrieve. Born to cross streams and valleys, born to roam and sniff. Born to be a friend of men and women. Born to be gentle: We would carry a bird in our strong jaws and not damage it (which my Dad always reminds me of when he gives me a potato chip and watches me carry it in my mouth to my bed, where I eat it.) And my ancestors were champion hunting retrievers and today I was my father’s son and my grandfather’s grandson, and my great-grandfather’s great-grandson. That is my nature. And my mom was happy to let me just be who I am.
After crossing the stream and interacting with Cody, we moved along, down a wide path with tall trees and full bushes off to either side. I heard everything and smelled everything. Eventually we got to a place where we turned left and went down another path. Same thing. At the end of that path was a large body of water. There was one dog in the water and that dog kept trying to catch a tennis ball but as usual I was interested in the dog, so my mom kept me from playing with that dog by tugging gently on my lead whenever I threatened to climb onto the swimming dog. Soon that dog left and I had the whole body of water to myself!
Soon, more and more dogs were coming. Groups of 2 dogs, then 5 dogs, then 10 dogs. Dogs everywhere! I wanted to play with them and many of them wanted to play with me. There was one dog who did not like me. He didn’t like me because I’m a whole male and he isn’t. But the man with him kept him on a short lead and every time I went to play with the dog and the dog growled at me, the man told the dog “no”. Then when the dog was nice to me, he made the dog feel good and pet his head and said “good dog”. So all in all it worked out and the dog learned the rewards of being nice to me. There was a female there I was also interested in, and she seemed to be interested in me too so that was really great, too.
Then those dogs left. And again I had this wonderland to myself (and my mom).
I can’t say which I liked more – with the other dogs there or without.
Soon my mom took me for one last swim.One last opportunity to exercise my injured leg and get it moving. As usual, she came in the water with me. Then we headed out.
There is so much beauty and joy in the natural world and in the world of man. I’m happy to discover another part of it!