I got quite the workout just standing there. I took my inquisitive toddler and two antsy dogs to the river. All three of them greatly needed to expend some pent-up energy. And I didn't have the stamina, or the patience, to walk the group down the street. What a bad dog owner I'm turning out to be when I'm the one who wanted the second dog.
I intended to drive a distance so we would be a little secluded. But the water was very high so we ended up just by the road. It was a great test for my newer dog. He is learning well but tends to swiftly bolt after movement. He loves the anticipation of any possible play date. We were actually at the very spot that he went missing overnight the first week that we had him.
I was on high alert. Maybe a walk around the block would have been easier. Other dog owners came by with the same idea. Bikes passed with chit chatting riders that seemed to summon my dog to run. And he whimpered at the idea of staying with our boring lot. Maybe if he would help me in my mothering duties he would be kept occupied.
I kept telling my daughter not to walk too far into the water with its uneven terrain. Telling her to leave the pieces of garbage that intrigued her. Telling her, again and again, not to use me as a canvass for her dirt paint. Sure, there wasn't really anything else for her to paint, but I just wasn't into getting muddy with swampy smelling dirt. What a party pooper!
Then there was my continuous, "Put that down!" to my older dog. She loves having things in her mouth and will try to get the largest rock. She has always wanted to do this, even to the point of submerging her head under the water. The vet has warned me that her teeth are healthy now and only being filed down but if she were to ever break one there would be a problem. Sometimes it's like taking a drug from an addict. She doesn't want to relinquish a dear, sweet rock. Especially if she painstakingly dug it from the depths of the water. I will reprimand her and as soon as she walks away from that one she'll find another. One time she carried a rock for a few kilometers on a jog. Probably more than once, actually.
So watching my daughter and trying to keep the water out of her boots (which I failed at), trying to save my older dog's teeth, and trying to keep my younger dog from chasing after bikes and animals, I was quite busy. This was no relaxing sit by the water. The view was beautiful. The mountain scene reflected gracefully on the smooth water surface. The long, rich green grass which emitted fluttering moths.
But my male canine's obedience made it worthwhile. When he would start to walk away to go see someone else I would call him and when he listened (wow!) he would run at me (with his leapingly long stride) with the joyous realization that he was doing what I wanted him to do! Finally, we are getting somewhere! He has discovered the satisfaction of getting an enthusiastic good boy!
Just when my daughter has discovered the pleasure in doing the opposite of what she is told. Yes, she has always done things like throw when I ask her to refrain. But now begins the giggle and run. Fear is always a motivation for obedience and so she'll consistently listen if there is hot or the warning of car. But when no danger looms is it much funner to run. And it's hard to keep a serious face when the peels of laughter are so cute.
Rambunctious toddlers who want to explore keep you on your toes. Learning dogs who act on fun-seeking instinct keep you on your toes. Geriatric dogs with addictions keep you on your toes. Add in a husband and... Well, we don't need to go there.