"It is in the wild places, where the edge of the earth meets the corners of the sky, the human spirit is fed." Art Wolf

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Dogs and Water

Shelter in Place they said.  Maintain physical distancing.  Okay, we can do that. At least in Ohio our state parks were not closed to hiking and our rivers were open.   I was able to work most of the spring by going remote and working from home after the governor closed non essential businesses.   I always wanted to work somewhere that my dogs could come to work with me everyday.   Looks like I made it!   Audrey and Lark supervised from the daybed in my office and made sure to continue supervising me every break time.

But since coming back from Florida they had mostly heard me make excuses for not taking anyone for a hike and then even as the spring came around it all seemed too chilly and wet, but finally (before the heat and humidity set in) there were a few glorious Ohio, spring, sort of days.   And those were not to be wasted......

First up was Audrey testing out the replacement Sea Eagle on the Little Miami river with me.  I looked up and found a group of kayakers that get together in the Cincinnati area.   Most of the group had dropped off their bikes at one point on the river and then drove to the start area. They paddled down river, peddled their bikes back up the bike trail and pick up their cars then to drive back to load up their kayaks.   Then there was me who got a ride to the drop off area and paddled down stream to where my car was parked.   I also realized about 5 miles into the paddle that 10 miles at the beginning of the season is about 4 miles too many even if the current is helping.   Lesson relearned.  I am a paddle, float, float, paddle sort of person.   The rules were that you had to be able to handle your own equipment to maintain physical distancing.  The trees were just beginning to green out and the turtles were seeking their usual sunbeams.    I think some of the other paddlers were amazed at Audrey's "I'll just sit here and observe the water" behavior.

Even good dogs have to get up and stretch their legs.....she also agreed that ten miles was a bit long, lunch stop or no lunch stop.

We paddled past the local Loveland Castle.  And yes there is a long story there.

Sometime after Audrey's trip there was a trip up to Cindy's house in Granville.   And Lark and Audrey brought a puppy home with them.   She went three weeks without a name while I kept trying out new ones.  After a while I think she got tired of of hearing all the "cute" and "special" names and told Lark to just call her Jane.  She shared with Lark that she was quite confident that she would be noticed just fine without a unique or "special" name.

Lark finally found a warm enough day, after the road to the Caesar Creek Visitors center reopened, to take me for a hike.  She likes the trails where she is not apt to run into other hikers so that she can explore off leash a wee bit more.  It makes the swims so much nicer.

And then there were three again.  And for those that wonder about Josef, he recently sent a video of himself swimming in his pool with his humans and playing water keep away with a tennis ball.  I didn't have the heart to show it to Audrey. 

The first time Lark tried out the Sea Eagle she decided that she liked it just fine.  I on the other hand made the paddle a short one because of the wind.   I did mention that I was a paddle float sort of person, didn't I?   When the winds come up the need to keep paddling or lose ground is increased.  

Then it was Larks turn to try out the Sea Eagle, again.   We had started out the day before but after arriving at the lake I discovered that I had forgotten the battery operated air pump.  This GHL was not reverting back to the old foot pump.  We came back the next day and remembering all the equipment this time successfully went to a quieter part of Lake Cowan.   

The water in the lake was high but this end of the lake is very shallow. All the more fun to watch and listen to the large carp chase their prey through the lily pads.  Lark found it interesting enough when they were 20 feet away but when they rolled and splashed right next to the kayak she had other opinions.... 

You could tell the color of the sky from the water drops on the lilies.

This end of the lake had small coves and creeks that I like to paddle best.  As shallow as the water was though I decided that I needed to come back with the Hornbeck because it doesn't draw as much water.

About this time back at home both Audrey and Lark realized that their safety zone on the daybed was no more. Jane had watched Audrey and figured out she too could get up there using the smaller Ottoman that is out of camera range on the left.

The not being done with our water exploring. Jane got to visit the lake.  I found the sandy beach I water but had forgotten that this end of the lake can also get waves from the wind.  

Not that it stopped Lark from demonstrating what fun could be found in the water.

But leaving the waves on the beach, we set out to find a creek.  At this point Jane began practicing her walking on a leash skills.   Training puppies to move in "sort of straight" lines is always easier when a professional is demonstrating.

Now this was some water a young girl could get into.

It was while climbing over and around rocks and pools that Jane found out that she could swim, well two feet anyway, across one of the deeper pools. It was the quickest way to catch up to Lark.

Coming back from the creek Jane walked solo.  I think that her mentor did a fine job of leash training.

And at the end of a busy day it is good to relax and chill with a friend.   Physical distancing not necessary.

So for now, my spring seasonal work is finished, there are no dog shows for Lark and Audrey and the puppy is just working on growing and learning new things.  The RV sitting in the driveway is cleaned out and about to be put on the market. Adventures might have to remain local for a while longer.  But considering what is out there, I am good for that.   Any one interested in a used 2014 Thor Vegas with 64,000 miles on it?

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