We hadn’t gone far and I was already panting hard. My tongue rolled out, and dangled around, cooling me a little. Sometimes I think the old man has it easy, since he can just take his coat off when it gets warmer. But we dogs are seemingly stuck to our coats. And even if we could, it isn’t really in our nature to change our fashion every day, especially when you can’t improve excellence.
But, it is these rather hot moments that leave me wishing I could at least take a dip in a puddle of water. Not too deep though, since I can’t really doggy paddle that well. Izzy can. I check him out of my peripheral, seeing if he was as tired as I was. Nope. In fact, he was constantly pulling Debbie further ahead. Probably just trying to show off.
I wasn’t interested in tugged ahead. I set my pace to the old man’s and we keep our steps in tune. I come to the conclusion that tugging just makes me more tired. And I’m always choking myself. I can even hear Izzy wheezing a little, just because he’s pulling so hard. He’s still young though, and he’ll learn eventually.
Behind us, Buck isn’t exactly walking with the group. He keeps stopping at every single fence post to bark at some leaves or leave a message for others. Christy calls him and tries to tug him to keep up with us, and even Debbie and the old man give a holler. Izzy just boasts challenges to incentivize the slow poke. As for me, I’m just trying to save my breath. It’s my first walk in a while, and I’m definitely out of shape.
Sure, I could sprint across the yard to chase a squirrel out of my territory, or even make it from the bedroom to the kitchen before you even drop a crumb. But when it comes to endurance, I’m not the pup I used to be.
The old man stops, so I do as well, giving my haunches a rest on the shaded walkway. Apparently, we’re all going to wait for Buck, since this is supposed to be a group activity. But seeing as how I’m going to be out of breath by the time we get to the park, I don’t think I’m going to be doing much playing.
My water bowl drops down in front of me, empty. The flimsy thing was cool, but it wasn’t producing any water no matter how much I licked it. What I didn’t see was that the old man was trying to fill it up, but I was in the way. It’s okay though, since I did get a cooling shower in the process. I shook off the water, trying to keep it from getting in the ears (that does not feel good), and then commenced to enjoying a few laps in the water bowl.
Izzy nudged me out of the way, and apparently, the announcement of fresh water drew Buck right back into the midst of the group. We took turns cooling back down, offering an occasional cough when the water went the wrong way, and recommenced the journey.
It wasn’t much further to the park. The big trees loomed overhead, just now beginning to fill back up with shade. From here, I could see a few dogs and their companions playing together. There were some people grouped together under the trees, cooing and chatting with one another.
Izzy was tugging harder than ever now, whining that he was missing some immediate fun. Buck sounded our arrival as the gate opened up and we entered the park. Izzy and Buck immediately raced away, joining a game of keep-away. Some Great Dane had the ball and was charging ahead of the pack, barking challenges to the pursuers.
As for me, I’m going to take a rest with the old man here. We sat on a shady bench, taking a moment to catch our respective breath. We both took some water and followed it up with a recharge treat of jerky. I was careful to eat it in secret, as other dogs might see and want. I know I would.
After a little cool-down time, the ball emerged from the bag and the old man tossed it out into the field. He looked at me, and I looked at him. I sighed. Okay, I guess I’ll go get it for you again. He does this to me every time. I go get it for him and all he does is throw it away. It looks like it’s going to be a busy day at the park.
Jason Duron is a short story writer and author of several fiction stories. Curious and lovable as dogs can be, the Adventures of Rocky give you a chance to see daily life from a “dog’s eye view” and share in their thoughts. Please enjoy, and we hope that you’ll feel free to comment and give us insight into your dog’s very own “rocky” adventures.