Wherein Our Heroine Works at Getting Back to Normal.

We sought equilibrium yesterday. Our house became ours again, quiet and calm but for Mac's occasional barked objections to something going on out front. Serenity was in order, so with that in view, we took the canoe to Seneca Lake. We did throw one potential spanner into the works, though.

We brought Mac.

Mac can be a fuzzy little bundle of contradictions. He loves us and wants to be with us desperately, yet hates to ride in the car. He loves water, wading in and dipping his tummy, but he gets up again and shakes almost immediately. We bought him a doggie life-jacket last year, but other than making sure it fit him, we had not used it and did not know how he would handle riding in a water-vehicle. Would he view in light of a fun adventure, or a trip to the vet?

So, Mac started at my feet in the front of the truck on our short little journey to the lake. But, unusually for him, he ended up mostly in my lap, looking out the window and panting heavily with anxiety. Mac is not a large dog, but at 36 pounds and with fur like a Yeti, he is not exactly a lap dog either. Nevertheless, we got there, I didn't melt, we kitted Mac out in his safety-orange life jacket, launched the canoe, and lifted him in.

He loved it. He eagerly watched everything, but moved cautiously from side to side, never panicking or making the canoe wobble alarmingly. We paddled from the boat launch to a shallow area bordering on a field, and threw his frisbee into the water. He swam for the first time, spluttery and slightly panicky, but gaining confidence with every retrieval and shaking gallons of water out of his heavy coat (Shetland Sheepdogs are built for chasing sheep over the hills of Scotland: water dogs they ain't). When we headed home, tired and hot but pleased with the year's first outing, we brought with us a happy dog, panting gently and smelling of low tide.

And so, we are on our way back to equilibrium. Because nothing brings balance and peace like shampooing a smelly dog.

Posted: Thursday - June 10, 2004 at 08:07 AM         | |