Every year on this weekend Reggie and I go Up North. A little Michigan lesson for those of you not lucky enough to live in the Enchanted Mitten: everyone goes Up North. Everyone has a boat or a cottage (or both) and depending on your family traditions Up North can mean Port Huron (the thumb), Traverse City (tip of the pinky finger), or Houghton (the U.P.), and any various locations in between. I happen to be a Traverse City person. So that’s where we go, to the family cottage.
It’s a Reggie filled weekend because there he can roam free, play in the lake, walk along the shore, and go everywhere with me. It’s a weekend where it’s all about him (yeah yeah everyday is about him…) and I can feel a little better about giving him freedom and exercise that he can’t have here in the city.
So allow me some indulgence with this post as I walk through Reggie’s Big Weekend. I think he had fun, and at least I had fun bonding with my dog and learning some new tricks myself!
Our morning starts off with a trip to the pet store to buy a floating toy for the lake. I was delighted that Reggie did not try and eat any of the treats that were at dog-snout height. That could have been an allergy disaster! We don’t frequent pet stores so I forget this marketing trick…
We then make our way over to the specialty dog bakery in town to buy allergy dog treats in bulk. We sniff everything in the store, charm the workers into giving us some free treats (sneaky boy) and make our way out. Reggie is super pumped in the car!
We park at the marina and walk along the boardwalk, along the shore, past the zoo. This particular weekend in Traverse City has a lot going on so there were a lot of people, kids, several different festivals, fairs, and beach contests going on. We passed many dogs and Reggie was a super canine citizen!
At the “end” of the boardwalk we crossed into the downtown area. I admit I started to get a little nervous because in the downtown area here at home Reggie does not do well. It’s kind of sensory overload and that can sometimes induce a seizure. Couple that with the heat and it can be a real problem. We stopped frequently for water, and rested in shady areas, and looped back to the marina parking lot- seizure free!
Once back at the house it was time for medication and the lake! Now Reggie is a nut for the water. I have to hold him back from hurling himself off the dock. Problem is, the water level is fairly low and jumping right off the dock (or deck) will probably break a leg. I have to pick him up and place him in the water. And we’re off! After almost an hour he walked back to the ladder (toy in mouth no less) which means he’s done and ready to get out.
Here’s the exciting part: I picked him up and put him back on the dock. I got out. I turned around and he (mischievous bugger) drops his toy off the dock into the water. For a split second I thought he was going to jump in after it and I grabbed him but he just stood there looking at it wagging his tail. Sigh…I leaned over and picked up the toy. As I was getting back up I saw Reggie start to sit down. You have to understand Reggie is really good at sitting. He sits for treats, toys, meal times, at corners while walking, when his collar gets put on, etc. This is one thing he does really well. The only thing I can think of is that when I was getting up he knows he has to sit to get the toy so he started to sit. Well, his butt was not on the dock and when sat he tipped over backwards and went into the water. I freaked out because this was at the shallow end and I thought he could break a leg or his back there are rocks there….Well I jumped in after him and he had already righted himself and was shaking it off. I put him back on the dock and he was looking for his toy immediately…He was fine.
After a good snooze for Reggie and a martini for me, we played another round with his new favorite toy. That just about did it for him for the day.
These weekends probably mean more for me than for him, but I treasure them all the same. To see him having fun in a way that I can’t give him on a daily basis is still a treat.