Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Duncan was not happy with me this morning. After his Big Day of Adventure he'd decided that staying at home with the cats and lounging across the bed was no longer his style. No, he'd tasted the high life with Aunt Sarah, who, on Sunday took us to Chatfield, the most glorious dog park in the world and followed that up with an afternoon of fun and games in her backyard. He fully expected today would contain more of the same. But as I prepared to leave for work, without filling the doggy day-out bag I'd packed the morning before, he figured it out pretty fast. Our typical morning ends with Duncan sitting in front of the door to see me off, followed by a mad dash to the bedroom window where he watches me climb into the car and drive away. This morning, however, when it became obvious he would resume his old life, he pouted, hid under the bed and refused to even peek out to see me go.

Upon my return home this afternoon I decided he deserved another romp at Chatfield and so we packed up, got into the car and drove ten minutes to what must surely be Denver's Doggy Disneyland, a vast expanse of open space, forest, and scenic trails punctuated by the Platte River, several large ponds and the reservoir. When Dunc realized where I was taking him he had to bite the seatbelt to keep from whimpering in joy. And once we were there, there was no containing him. He dragged me down the trail and almost before we'd hit the first pond he was soaking wet.

Now remember, Duncan has never been the kind of dog who enjoys the water.

At all.

No, sir, not one bit.

I guess he got over it. At some point he decided he'd much rather swim than walk and so while I strolled the path through the woods that spring up all around, Duncan followed beside me, paddling as though he's done it every day of his life. There was nothing I could say to get him to join me on land, until we met up with Jo and her two dogs, Shelby, a Black Lab she rescued and rehabilitated, and Lady, another Golden, who is just as dark and just as sweet as Duncan. Duncan decided they were his new best friends and spent much of the next hour racing for the ball Jo and I kept tossing far out into the water. Lady tended to stay on the shore, running up and down to greet new dogs, occasionally wading out a bit, but not going too far. Jo was an easy person to talk to, friendly and funny, and I look forward to running into her again.

But finally it was time to leave. There was a convention downtown (you may have heard something about it and have hopefully been tuning in!) that needed watching and the sun was beginning to set. We said our farewells and while I followed the path around the other side of the pond, Duncan paddled along beside me, only getting out of the water once it was clear there was no other place to go.

He reluctantly joined me on land and despite much whining and resistance, and with one last long look back, he climbed into the car, willing to return to his bland life among the cats and our meager jungle of spider plants, avocado and dragon trees, but only on the condition that we return again as soon as possible.

It's a promise I intend to keep.


Duncan's Internet Friend said...

Great media today! Thanks for sharing!!!

Duncan's Internet Friend said...

Great media today! Thanks for sharing!!!

Lori said...

His Goldenness is now fully realized! Maybe he was just traumatized by the audacity of the fountain. Once he figured out about lakes... his natural habitat! (Watch for swimmy ear infections! Darwin tries to flare up every time he swims.)

traci said...

I love watching dogs "doggy" paddle through the water. Dog parks are wonderful and I wish there were more of them. Glad that Duncan finally got over his water phobia.

Charlie said...

What a great time you two had. You'd almost think that dog was born swimming!!
- Charlie

Cheryl said...

Who wants to swim in a concrete pond, where the mud never squishes between your toes and there's not a stick to be found.

Sue said...

Oh, this was a great post! I loved the videos, he looks SO happy! I think Duncan finally realized that he actually knows how to swim. Seriously, some dogs just don't realize they can...that's what happened with Jack. He was petrified of the water, until I actually got him swim lessons, and now he LOVES water! He is always the first one in the pool, and the last one out.

Greg said...

That looked like the best day ever, as I suppose each one is for our boy Duncan.

I admire your camera skills, Curt...the steady hand and all the zoominess. Tripod or luck? Either way, nicely done.

GM said...

"When Dunc realized where I was taking him he had to bite the seatbelt to keep from whimpering in joy."
"...but only on the condition that we return again as soon as possible."

I agreed :D every afternoon should be a Chatfield day :D