Since I sadly couldn't bring Fozzie and Lamar with us to Oregon and Zimfest, I made sure we took every opportunity to get some dog smooches wherever we could find them.
Fortunately, the places we were in Oregon were about as dog-friendly as you could imagine.
We met dogs on the beach, dogs in coastal towns, dogs looking for free pets at the music festival.
There was a dog at Zimfest who looked just like Lars only bigger. This dog, though--a Malamute-shepherd cross--couldn't get enough of human contact and had no problem with the loud music and crowd.
Sigh--sometimes I wonder what that would be like, to have a totally issue-less dog!
It was wonderful to see so many cattle dogs, those little muscular energetic torpedo bodies and the abundant vocalizing and the pointy little satellite dish ears that are so satisfying to rub.
The highlight though had to have been when we took a break from the festival and found an official off-leash dog heaven on the Willamette River. At one point we counted no less than nine dogs paddling, soaking, running, stick-obsessing, and floating in the river. The river here had that same fragrance I love that I've found along the Potomac and in Santa Fe, and the trail to it was covered with blackberries.
It is good to be home, and Florian promises that we'll devote the upcoming weekends to discovering some of the amazing swimming holes and doggie heavens we have around here. All the same, it is hard not to miss Oregon and the coast and the wide open Western sky and the abundant opportunities to meet and play and sing with Zimbabwean masters! Maybe someday we'll return.