Jeter: Daddy woke up today on a mission: He was going to take us for a walk regardless of the weather, as tomorrow figures to be a very windy and rainy day! He is crazy about the weather – and when I say crazy, I mean OBSESSED. He is a lunatic. If they predict a wind gust of 10 MPH, he wants to run into the basement that we don’t even have. Anyway, today he thought he had a window to walk us in. A window where it may drizzle and shower a bit, but it wouldn’t actually rain. Boy, was he wrong.
Alanis: And, of course, the rain finds a way to make me even more hyper than I already am. At one point during the walk, I was gearing up to do some zoomies, while on a leash! He put an end to that real fast, but I was a very hyper dog on today’s walk because of the rain.
Jeter: Too hyper, you lunatic. When that leash is on me and I am going for a walk, I am laser focused on one thing and one thing only: WALKING! Sure, I may become distracted by a cat or a squirrel. I may want to sniff a tree from time to time, but I want to walk! Walking is not play time. And in this area, playing can be dangerous, as some of the roads can be a bit busy.
Alanis: Oh, he has experience walking us by now Jeter – we won’t get hurt! Weeeeeeeee! Let’s play. Oh, and bark too! I love to bark at anything and everything that walks by me during a walk. It is fun to embarrass my daddy as people thing I am some sort of monster just because I bark. I am WAGGING M Y TAIL, people! I do it for attention.
Me: You sure do. And some people are indeed scared of that behavior. It is pretty funny, really – it goes back to my basic point: Don’t ever assume a dog is friendly just because he is seemingly panting and smiling as he is walking. And don’t assume the dog is mean because he is barking at you. Pay attention to other cues, and never approach a dog unless the person walking the dog gives permission. That person knows all about the dog’s personality.
Jeter: Since when do you interrupt us while we are talking, daddy? Wait your turn.
Josh: Sorry, I was sleeping. Are we talking about treats? I love treats!
Alanis: Go back to bed, dog. We are not talking about treats!
Jeter: Anyway, the walk was a good 50 minutes and, of course, it rained a lot more than daddy thought it would (don’t give up your day job, moron). Alanis and I came into the house soaked. Completely and utterly soaked. And of course, daddy (with his pea-sized brain) wiped us off with a DIRTY TOWEL. That worked well, Einstein.
Alanis: What a mess we were! But of course, we don’t care. We want to run around the house, shaking the water off of us on every possible piece of furniture we can find.
Jeter: I hear they refuse to get nice things because of us.
Josh: Treats are nice!
Alanis: Ugh. Anyway, yes – we were drenched. It was not easy to dry us off, but eventually, we dried off well and went on with our day.
Me: Wet dogs, indeed. It was a mess, but when you walk into a bit of a downpour 20 minutes into the walk, there is no real use to turn back – may as well finish what was started. Golden Retrievers have thick coats, and if those coats get wet, it can be a bear to dry them off. Jeter actually has a perfect coat that typically will dry off quickly, but for today, it took a bit longer. When Josh would walk in the rain or get caught outside in the rain, it was a complete disaster, as his coat is very thick and unruly. Alanis is somewhere between – she doesn’t have the coat of a bear like Josh, but also doesn’t have the smoother, silkier coat that Jeter was blessed with. Any way, there isn’t really much of a “lesson” today..other than making sure you have plenty of “dog towels” at your disposal for days like today. Dogs will get wet, and they aren’t vain about it. A couple of hours after the walk, Alanis was outside again – just standing in the rain for a good ten minutes. By the way, although I haven’t taught my dogs the trick, you can actually train your dogs to do that shaking motion they do when they are wet on command!