Yesterday was a beautiful, unusually warm January day in South Carolina, almost 80 degrees. The day started off terrible with me crying all morning. Trooper had an appointment at the vet to have a check up on his seizures and medications that don’t seem to be working. I thought it would be the day he might have to cross the rainbow bridge. My baby boy however has nine lives. Dr. Sanders assured me Trooper is full of life and he would again consult with the neurologist to figure out a better plan for his seizure control. I was elated at the news and decided this called for a celebration.
With it being so warm, I decided to take both Sid and Troop to Lake Hartwell. I packed up some towels, leashes, dogs, and away we went. Once we got to the park we realized it was closed for the winter. Apparently the park management doesn’t realize that goldens don’t care about weather conditions. I had not come that far to turn around and go back home so we went a bit further down the road and blazed our own trail down a hill to the water’s edge. That sounds pretty easy but it wasn’t really. As soon as I got out of the car with both dogs on leashes, they spotted the water and away they went. They are stronger than me so needless to say the leashes weren’t in my hands long and as I recovered from the pull down the hill and shock of it all, it became apparent to me that my boys were already swimming, with their leashes dragging behind them in the water. By the way, retractable leashes don’t work anymore once they are full of sand.
The day couldn’t have been more beautiful. The sky was a clear blue marked with just one streak of a thin feathery cloud of waving ripples that went all the way across from horizon to horizon like a tire track. The sun was warm and the water wasn’t bad either. Still and smooth, it was beautiful.
The dogs were having a ball. What I hadn’t anticipated was the fact that the water level was so low that the sand close to the water’s edge was knee deep in mud, stomach deep to the boys. They ran, they played, they chased sticks, they ate sticks, they rolled in the sand, they helped each other retrieve sticks. Sid really retrieved the sticks, while Trooper, not being the best swimmer, thought he was helping but was really doing more splashing than anything. He seems to think he can walk on the water so slaps at it with his front paws not understanding why they keep sinking. He was especially proud of a stick he carried around in his mouth that looked like a cane and drug the ground as though he was using it as his cane.
I had picked up lunch at Burger King on the way and sat down to eat. Well…..that’s not exactly how it went. Me, being the one who never learns, was sitting down and unfortunately for me, Trooper enjoyed my chicken sandwich as he snatched it from my hand the moment I looked the other direction. I didn’t even get the first bite. To my defense, I have never claimed to have well behaved dogs.
Sidney thought the sand near the water’s edge tasted wonderful!! Num num! He chowed down no matter how much I yelled at him. I later learned it was probably the turtle and fish excrement that he enjoyed. One thing I will never know the answer to is what turtle and fish crap tastes like in wet, mushy sand. I asked him but true to form he replied, “I’m not telling.” There were two kayakers across the lake coming our way. This was exciting to the boys. They were thrilled that company was coming to visit. Much to their dismay, as the kayaks turned to go in another direction, company was not coming to visit. That turned out to be okay though because the blue herons were just as much fun to watch and dream of chasing.
I spent several hours at the lake watching the boys play, roll, and romp. Another thing I will never know the answer to is why my dogs have to leave the water’s edge, come 20 feet to where I’m sitting to shake off on top of me, only to run back to the water, get wet and do it all over again.
What a perfect day it was. I sat and stared at the water. It was beautiful and calm. The blue herons were majestic. Across the water were houses I dreamed of owning. Did I say it was a perfect day? Well……with my boys things are never quite as they seem.
Heading home, the car stunk of wet, dead fish, dirty water, dog. I smelled like a wet, dead fish, dirty water person. Once we got home the boys were exhausted. They both laid down and slept….until Sidney started throwing up. Beautiful glittery silt and sand in a deep forest green color. Question number three that I will never know the answer to is why a dog has to throw up on a rug when there is a perfectly good hardwood floor right next to him that would be easier to clean. He continued to be sick all night long. There is nothing I love more than cleaning up glittery green dog vomit at six AM. By the time I was ready for work I couldn’t even get him up to move him to the kitchen so I could keep him off the carpet while I was away. I called the vet who told me to take him immediately to the emergency clinic as he could be impacted. Anyone who knows me and my boys knows that we are fairly well known with local veterinarians due to their many shenanigans, not unlike drug addicts who frequent local emergency rooms. I usually go through the vet doors with my head hung low for being a golden-retriever-mommy-failure yet again.
There was no way I could get him to the emergency vet so my son Jamie went home on his lunch break and found Sidney to be still alive and more perky. Since they were both feeling good again, they both got a shower tonight. I used Garnier Fructis for dry and damaged hair because I felt like they deserved it.
These are not my boys but pretty close to what they looked like.