Be seeing him again real Soo-OO-oon!
After his last intended did the dirty o-on him,
didn’t last five minutes in the-e swim!
Last weekend, my sisters and Gwynn and I piled into the car and headed North. Up into the wild blue yonder of Scotsdale Farm, there to trek epically and mightily through rain and cloud and patches of sunshine with a group of like-minded adventurers bipedal and quadrupedal alike.
We did somewhere between 12 and 15 km of hiking, on the Scotsdale Farm property and along sections of the Bruce Trail system, and were out and about for about 4 hours. There were hills and rocks and brief walks along the side of a country road. We walked down to a waterfall, through a field and alongside a small escarpment.
Gwynn ran around with a dozen other dogs big and small, older and younger, through woods, puddles, creeks and mud. He cavorted, pranced, splashed, stomped, gallivanted and even monkeyed around a bit. There were shenanigans.
Gwynn met a horse… his response was such delight that he did a little two-legged dance and then tried to slap the horse on the face. Do we have pictures of that? No… I was too busy making sure that this laid-back Mr. Bill didn’t try to slap Gwynn in the face in retaliation.
He was, at times, thoroughly soaked, thoroughly coated in mud, and varying degrees between. My pants were, at times, thoroughly soaked, coated in mud, and varying degrees between. They required two runs through the washing machine to get clean. I wish sometimes that the dog could go through the washing machine. I seriously considered taking off my pants and putting them in a bag before getting into my car… but then I realised how awkward that would be, since Doodle and I would be switching positions part-way through, and I’m pretty sure I’d end up arrested for indecent exposure during the switch. I did insist that my sisters and I get barefoot before getting into the car, though… our boots were relegated to the trunk.
The most bizarre and extreme part of the journey happened when we were on yet another boardwalk. The boardwalks throughout the hike had been over slightly muddy areas, or shallow creeks. Gwynn loved it – he’d leap enthusiastically off the boardwalk, if he made it onto it at all, and frolic in the oozing black gook, or prance and splash through the creek, luring other dogs to follow him in. This boardwalk was different, though. It was a small projection that jutted in a U shape over a big semi-marshy pond. The water was crystal clear, and you could see mud a foot or two below the surface. Now… this mud. I recognised it as what it was – the kind of mud that you just sink down into, so that you end up almost waist high in mud by the time you stop your descent. It’s just about gelatinous for the first few feet, then progresses to a gluey sucking consistency the deeper you go, until finally solidifying. This is the kind of mud that tightly laced up boots get left behind in. But the bottom looks like it’s just there… just a foot or two below the water’s surface, which is itself, only about a foot below the boardwalk.
Don’t pretend you don’t know what’s about to happen here. I should have realised what would happen… but I figured he’d recognise the type of mud like I did. Have I mentioned it’s been less than two weeks, at this point, since Gwynn actually started swimming… all four feet off the ground?
He jumped about equidistant from the shore in either direction of boardwalk (you knew this would happen…)… and he sank like a stone. He landed about 5 ft from the edge of the boardwalk, and plunged down into the murky waters, only to bob back up a few moments later, hair plastered to his head, and entirely covering his eyes.
He paddled his way back to the boardwalk and realised his dilemma – no way to get back up onto the boardwalk. And I had about the same chance of luring him to swim all the way around the boardwalk to shore as I did of teaching him to use the toilet in our house for its intended purpose… and flush.
So I grabbed him by his slimy black mud-coated harness and hauled him up. Safely ashore and having come fully up onto the boardwalk right between my legs, my beloved pooch, coated in a thick layer of dark slimy mud, did what any beloved pooch from the black lagoon would do… he shook. You’re probably now understanding why I seriously considered dropping trou before getting into my car, despite it being a public parking-lot.
It was a great trip, and we were all thoroughly pooched by the end of it. Our reward for a day of hiking and adventure? The food of champions – Timbits and Iced Caps! Gwynn got a peanut butter sandwich, since the food of champions is way too full of sugar, caffeine and chocolate for a dog to safely eat.
Bike update: As this is posted (hopefully, if scheduling works properly), I am biking… and have been for several hours. proof of this will be forthcoming, with photos of the beautiful Niagara on the Lake region we’ll be biking through all weekend!