Yesterday, our Rottie pack friends phoned and asked us to join them for a rare Friday afternoon hike! Mabel, Bart (the shepherd / elkhound) & I dashed down to the creek to meet Bart and Ruby and their mom. As soon as we rounded the levee, I spied trouble. Four boys, just under 12 (Mabel's optimum age preference for young boys!), were body surfing down the river.
The red arrows indicate the boys... Note Bart on shore and confused by Mabel's antics!
It was a hot afternoon and some part of me would have loved to join them! But I knew the outing would be hard enough just dealing with Mabel. She immediately dashed into the water to play with them. Her size often catches people off guard. After a bit of hesitation, they accepted her into their pack, while the rest of our hiking pack wondered what the heck was wrong with her.
Check out her tail... that wiggle is reserved for one thing! BOYS!
Mabel, the dog who prefers water shallow enough to touch bottom, swam with the best of them. She body surfed, she hovered, she chased. The boys and Mabel managed to keep up with us all the way down to the falls! By that point, Mabel was nipping at them. I explained it was puppy play behavior... she was trying to pull their tails to get them to chase her!
Mabel hovering and surfing; Bart - still confused!
But I knew that the heavy boulders that create the water falls were coming up... I didn't want her in the water with the boys any more. I implored all the boys to come ashore...knowing Mabel would follow her bestest friends in the world ever! She did and we leashed her.
You would have thought we were killing her! Well, in reality, it WAS torture - for both of us! She dragged me down the rocky embankment to get closer to the boys more than once! At times, she would freeze in place and not budge. She begged, pleaded, implored with all her might!
Finally, the boys took the trailhead back up and we opted to hike back up beside the water to put as much distance between them and us as possible. Periodically, Mabel would freeze and stare intently at the trail...telling me that she HAD to stay on leash!
It really breaks my heart to know my dog prefers their company to mine!