It's tough to be a furry black dog during hot weather.
Today the thermometer was headed over eighty degrees Fahrenheit. Combined with the few clouds it was a recipe for an overheated and exhausted Chandler if I had taken him for the usual two mile walk through the neighborhood.
Instead I opted to take him out to one of the local parks, where he could at least get shade and cool off in the water. Chandler hasn't had any problems with lameness since the last incident, and I had been running him through his strengthening exercises, so I thought it was worth the risk. We ended up in the same preserve where he cut his paw, because it seems to have the cleanest water. I think I've seen trout in one of the large pools, and I know the stream is marked as a trout habitat when it gets closer to the river.
Chandler was delighted to be hiking again, and immediately went wading into Roaring Brook.
There was no sign of whatever he managed to cut his paw on the last time. I really like this preserve because it has a lot of evergreens that keep the undergrowth to a minimum. I've only found poison ivy in one spot near the edge of the preserve, so I don't really have to worry about poison ivy oils rubbing off on Chandler's coat and being passed on to me. In addition all the pines and firs are quite pretty as they edge the trails. The only downside is that this year there was a bumper crop of pine cones and Chandler occasionally gets covered in pitch if he decides to roll.
While Chandler does love to zoom up and down the trails of the preserve, the main attraction for him is always the water. I swear he thinks he is part Labrador. There is one deep pool by the old mill that he really loves. Unfortunately we do have to descend from the ridge to get to it. Usually I opt to gingerly walk down a deer track that follows the ridge instead of the steeper but more open descent that goes straight down to the water. Chandler shoots right along the foot wide trail, leaps the fallen log and heads straight for the water. Then he comes back to see what is taking me so long. I suppose four legs are an advantage when navigating narrow trails; but two hands are necessary to throw sticks for a dog that is patient enough to let his owner catch up.
Hmm...beautiful scenery, interesting scents, cool clear water, and fun. Maybe it isn't so tough to be a furry black dog during hot weather.