Dog days

Next month will be pretty hectic and I have a ton of vacation time piled up. So, since we’re not going anywhere for Labor Day weekend, and my Friday office hours are only 8am-1pm, I decided to take today off from work.

It’s been a pretty lazy day, except for going out to buy a new dishwasher and reading a dense section of Montaigne. Now (3pm) I’m just about ready for a new adventure, so I’m going to pack Rufus in the car, head out to one of the Ramapo Lake trails to see how the boy likes walking in the woods!

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UPDATE: And we’re back! I took Rufus on the Macevoy trail, a half-mile stretch leading from a parking area off Skyline Drive up to the Ramapo Lake. I took my family — my brother, sister-in-law, their kids, Dad and his girlfriend — up there on July 4 last year. We had to take our time; in fact, Dad barely made it, but I was proud of him for surviving the trek.

Rufus, on the other hand, tried to make a sprint out of it, as is his wont. There’s no talking him out of that sorta thing. He made some friends on the way up, as is also his wont. A couple was walking down the trail, and the guy took Rufus’ friendliness as an opportunity to explain to his girlfriend why they need to get a big dog, not a little one like she wants. Ru did his best to sway her by leaning heavily against her. Unfortunately, I think he swayed her body more than her opinion, but she continued to coo over our boy.

I brought along two bottles of water, as well as one of his bowls, since he refuses to drink from the bottle/bowl I was considerate enough to buy for him. It’s not too hot today — around 78 — but he tends to hurry, and to stop and sniff at everydarnthing around, so by the time we reached the lake, he was panting a bit. At that point, a woman walked by with a beagle-ish dog, but she said it was pretty hyper and angry since getting into a doggie-altercation last month, and she was afraid he’d get Rufus upset. My boy was too tired to even disagree.

I got him to stand still long enough for some pix, and even got him to drink some water (after dropping half a dog-treat in the bowl), but I could see that he wasn’t happy to be out in the sun at that point. The trek back was a little more hazardous than the way in, because so much of it was downhill on rocks, but Rufus was a trooper. He tends to stay in front of me when we walk, but he paused in front of less certain paths, and waited for me to go by and show him where to step.

On the way we got back to the car, we encountered a family of incredible nordicity. I thought they’d escaped from the nearby Ikea, but it turned out that they were visiting family in the area. The parents and their 3 small kids all fawned over our boy, who wasn’t so exhausted as to reject the attention.

Back in the car, he was a panting wreck. But it’s only a 7- or 8-minute drive home, and he’s now sacked out comfortably on his bed, having drunk half a bowl of water. I walked in to see the Yankees beat the Red Sox in the bottom of the ninth. For what that’s worth.

So that’s my day off: some reading, some napping, some appliance shopping, some Yankees, and Rufus on a hiking trail. (UPDATE: and a cigar out on the deck, as I watch the sun go down.)

Click through the pic for the rest of the photoset!

“Oh, look at me! I’m doing my little French-maid-ears trick!”

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