Friday, July 8, 2011

Renaissance man

As always, Fozzie has been a hardworking little scholar of all things new, different, mischievous, good-smelling, or that might possibly run away or make squeaky noises. 
Just what Uncle Johnny wanted!
Fortunately, he is a reliable lover of new people, so no worries about having house guests. As long as they happen to be house guests who enjoy face washes, lap dances, and leg humps, no problem at all!

He loves to go on our little weekend trips, and if allowed to sit on my lap and hang his nosie way out the window, he can refrain from launching against the inside walls of the van and smashing against the windows in pursuit of passing cars! Yay!
Alternatively, we may use a bit of Good Management. If dog cannot handle freedom in van, tie dog to handle on back of seat. Problem solved.

First stop, the beach. Fozzie started to figure out, but didn't quite learn, that he can swim. 

Still pretty scary, so the discovery that he was in deep water prompted frantic flailing paws splashing and flapping wildly. 
We also discovered a new trick to handle his leash frustration when he encounters another dog--just run deeper into the water! He was so confounded by the novelty of the situation that he forgot to rear up and yodel. 

This past weekend, it was time for a mountain journey--our first trip to the Shenandoahs in way too long. 

Fourth of July festival at the Bryce ski resort, tie-dye T-shirts and gemstones aplenty for sale, and the opportunity to stare in awe at a St. Bernard. Then the mountain, our favorite forest road in the George Washington National Forest,  fresh mountain springs with water that tastes like...well, like a mountain spring, and swimming holes! 

What a relief in the sweltering heat and mugginess to have a nice flat rock to spread out a towel on and have a pizza and a cool bevvie, and a deep, clear stream to relax into.

Nice and deep, water a perfect temperature, ideal for paws to flap around in. A great place for humans and dogs like Lamar--who channels his inner Lab whenever given the chance to go for a leisurely dip, dog-paddling laps and joyfully pursuing tossed sticks at every opportunity-- to swim. 

And for Fozzie, another learning opportunity. 

The first swimming hole was way too deep. Foz ventured in to where he could still stand, and when it started to get deep, he did this adorable thing where he flattens out, as if to dig his paws in deeper and lower his center of gravity. 

We took a chance at letting him off the leash, and he stuck around as long as we were in the swimming hole, standing in the shallow water at the sides and barking, too upset at this bizarre thing we were doing to stray far. 

When that spot was overtaken on the second day by Fourth of July weekend revelers doing backflips into 6 feet of water, we ventured downstream to a less deep, but no less idyllic, spot.

And there, as mom waded with her prodigal foster dog on leash, Fozzie ventured in above his little head, stuck those front paws out stiffly, and began to paddle. 

Still nervous (but don't dogs always look nervous when they swim?) but not panicking this time, seeming to enjoy himself. 

What an accomplishment for our little athlete. 

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