Today was not that day.
We are very lucky to have a family place on a beautiful lake an hour from where we live. This is one of my very favourite spots to take the dogs as there are so many activities there – an off leash park, numerous hiking trails, a dog beach, afternoons on the boat…there is always something dog friendly to do.
Kristine at Rescued Insanity posted a fabulous post and video last week called Luring Away Fears. Kolchak is not a fan of getting in the water, but he usually enjoys swimming once he gets in. We headed for the dog beach with a pocket full of deliciousness, determined to lure away his fears and spend a fun afternoon splashing away.
I should have known things were going south when it took us 25 minutes to complete the two minute walk to the beach. Not 20 steps from the house, we discovered a loose dog with no tags wandering the beach. He was cute as a bug’s ear! An adorable beige little fluffball who was well groomed and obviously belonged to someone, he had one flaw. While his appearance was delightful, his personality left much to be desired. An angry, ornery little guy, he fought me putting a collar and leash on him, he fought walking up and down the beach asking if anyone knew him and he took an immediate and all-encompassing dislike to both Koly & Fe, trying several times to bite them, unprovoked. *sigh* FINALLY, after what felt like forever, someone recognized him. Not someone frantically searching for him, not some who was delighted we brought him back, someone who actually quite rudely informed me that they *did not believe in restraining dogs, so he was permitted to roam the neighborhood**. She also made a crack at what a sad life my dogs must lead, always having to be restrained by leashes.
*Insert incredulous gasp and overwhelming desire to get up on my soap box to lecture her and call her every expletive name in the book*.
I didn’t do it. I choked back my snarky retorts and left, telling myself that if that angry little pup crossed my path again, we’d pick him up and make sure he got to safety.
We finally got to the beach and to the water. Excited to try the luring technique, I showed Koly a chunk of chicken, which he desperately wanted and tossed it a few steps into the water. Before I could even BLINK a pterodactyl sized sized kamikaze bird swooped down and snatched it off the water’s surface, nearly jacking up Koly in the process. We both stood there in utter shock for at least a minute trying to process what just happened. I scanned the sky looking for more giant angry birds, then tried again. It took some coaxing, but after a moment Koly made a move to retrieve it, just as a boat full of future Jackass stars flew by. Well inside the dead slow, this boat should have been no more than gliding, but as it sped by with a wakeboarder behind it, it sent a wall of water washing over Kolchak, who was shocked and scrambled with all his might back to the shore. I tell you, I could have tossed a Big Bird sized chunk of chicken into that lake and Koly wouldn’t have gone anywhere near it. Discouraged, I resorted to my usual trick. Leaving the dogs behind on the shore, I waded knee deep into the water and waited for the boys to follow. My Mom, who had come along, was nice enough to stay on the shore and film this little swimming adventure for me to share with you all.
Yeeeeeeah. You’re never going to see it.
Koly splashed over to me hesitantly and then out of no where, jumped up on my legs, tripped himself and flopped back into the water – taking my strapless sundress with him. *yeah, laugh it up chuckles. I’m so glad someone finds this amusing.* Gathering up my dress and what little of my dignity I had left, we went back to the shore, clipped our leashes on and tried to make a quick exit from the crowded beach that had just oogled all my goodies. My Mom the jokester looked me right in the eye and said “Should I stop filming now?“. *Not really a good time to mock me Mom. Thanks a heap.*
As we exited the sand beach into the park, Felix spotted something down the beach. Don;t ask me what, I have no idea what goes through that boy’s head. In my haste to book it the H outta there, I hadn’t put their harnesses on, just clipped the leashes right on to their swimming collars. Felix pulled an old Houdini trick of his where he slips his collar in 2 seconds flat. He took off at a dead run for this mystery person? Object? Who knows?. His recall has improved 10 fold in recent months, but it is still spotty in crowded locations and non-existent when he sees something he wants, so I took off after him – Kolchak, their harnesses, my camera and my soaked sundress impeding every frantic step. Ever try to run in wet flip flops? I was not a pretty sight when I finally nabbed him on the other side of the park.
It couldn’t possibly get any worse right?
Ha ha ha ha, oh, I thought that too, but I was wrong. We finally got back to the house, I changed and settled onto the patio, determined to enjoy the afternoon despite all the freaking trouble it had caused me so far. Sad, sweet naive me – there would be no enjoyment. Only pain and suffering for thinking I deserved a nice realxing lake trip. My normally well-behaved dogs had other plans. I can only assume that they were both posessed by the frickin’ Devil himself this afternoon. Kolchak decided that this would be the perfect time to exert his dominance over his brother and proceeded to attempt to have his way with him every time my back was turned. Felix decided he was above this whole dog thing and he wasn’t going to lay on his beach towel or his bed and instead he would steal your chair anytime you got up to get drinks/snacks/bathroom breaks etc. If there were no vacant chairs, then he would repeatedly try to insert himself in your lap anytime you weren’t paying attention. Ever had a 17 lb fluffball with killer nails launch himself into your lap? Recent nail cut + first shorts weather all year = legs that look like I spent the day trying to train a jaguar cub. Killer & Tough Guy over here also decided to go all Rambo on any dog who dared pass *their* cabin, a behavior that we *thought* we had put to rest two summers ago. Oh, and when I tripped over my own two feet and dropped my plate at dinner, Koly helped out by eating my burger. The whole thing.In like three bites. Even though he mastered the OFF command like three and a half flipping years ago. Then Felix who never begs, cried all through dinner because he felt he deserved a burger too. I had a houseful of guests and I was so embarrassed. These dogs didn’t deserve burgers, they deserved a swift kick in the pants.
I know they say that June 21 is the longest day of the year, but TODAY was the longest day ever.
I have never been more grateful to pack up the car and head home. Tweedledee and Tweedledum are snuggled up on the couch together, clearly exhausted from their day of torturing their Mama. I am trying to drown what I am pretty sure is post-traumatic stress disorder in a healthy size
bottle glass of grown-up grape juice. I am convinced that I am going to have nightmares about this tonight.
Please make me feel better – tell me your horror story of how your dogs left your utterly embarrassed and broken-hearted.