At our house, we all embrace the gorgeous days of summer with the myriad of outdoor activities such weather provides – but when the temperatures are in the 90′s and humidity is high, the dogs stay plastered to the cool slate floors on the porch.
I love taking walks with each of my dogs… each one getting special time all their own. But, I’ve had to shorten our time out, much to the chagrin of both human and canine! Last Friday, Annie and I made it all the way down to the end of our road (our usual destination) – but as I made the turn to start us back toward home, she abruptly stopped short under the shade of a large maple tree, lying flat out in frog-like position. And, she wouldn’t budge. Okay, Annie, cool off in the shade a few minutes, I told her, then I prompted her along – but within a tenth of a mile, she was flattened out on the ground again. I thought about the time I had to carry my 13 year old Irish Setter back home from a walk. She had injured the pad of a front paw and couldn’t bear any weight on it. This was in cooler weather, but a long, heavy haul home. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to make it home in the heat carrying 54 lbs. Annie the rest of the distance. We slowly plodded along… she stopping 6 more times to cool off in the shade.
This morning, I tried heading out earlier then usual to beat the beat. James was leashed up and excitedly ready to head out the door. The humidity hit us immediately as we ventured outside. James, of course, wanted his walk. So, we compromised by walking about half the distance – all in the shade. Frankly, that was enough for both of us… and the other dogs had to go without.
Aside from missing out on this special human-canine bonding time, I NEED my exercise… my usual 2 miles x 3 dogs giving me a good 6-mile workout. Violet is the lucky one. Australian Labradoodles are great off-leash dogs…. so, she and I (and my sister Melissa joined us, too), headed for the path in the woods up in the hills behind our house later in the day…. a nice cool walk along a stream that runs beside the abandoned lumber road. Even Violet was hot and panting by the time we returned home. So – not fighting it… just hanging out… reading a good book.