Summer arrived in Syracuse this weekend. Warmth. Sunshine. My dear wife Karen was feeling a little under the weather Saturday, remnants of a late spring head cold still kicking her sinuses pretty good.
I hooked the Gentle Leader around Ellie B, aka Dogamous Pyle’s nose, attached her short blue leash, and coaxed her up into the back seat of my Chevy.
Actually, I lifted our dear rescue mutt into the back seat. She’ll put her front paws up, but that’s as far she’ll elevate on her own. I had to do some heavy lifting.
We headed to my favorite Syracuse area walking trail, along the shore of Onondaga Lake.
Gentle Leader or not, Ellie B wanted in the water big time. I wished immediately that I had brought her longer leash.
I let her frolic on the edges until my arm got tired. Two summers in a row , we’ve taken Ellie B with us on our week’s vacation to Cape Cod. Each visit, she’s warmed to the water a little more.
I know what you are thinking. But I dare not unclip this dog from her leash. For one, there is a leash law. I consider that sacred. With this enthusiastic dog, I also fear that one moment of freedom could very well result in:
Ellie B doggie-paddling to the other side of the lake, running across the highway, and visiting the New York State Fairgrounds.
Ellie B sprinting out of the lake, running through my outstretched arms, and greeting every single one of the several hundred other dogs being walked by their owners on a leash this sunny Saturday.
Ellie B racing along the shoreline on her own to greet the ducks.
Instead, she had to wait for me to walk along with her westward on the path, where the folks who run the marina have set up the black silhouette of a dog, in hopes of mitigating the effects of the natural bird habitat on the shoreline of the area.
I can’t say that it doesn’t work. One walk with Ellie B does not a study make.
But I certainly can’t say it works.
We saw plenty of birds along that stretch of water, and on the land.
Ellie B took a liking to the cut-out pooch. I told her to not expect any kind of warm greeting in return, but she investigated nevertheless.
One of the nice things about the walking trail at Onondaga Lake Park is the line of benches dotting the path for those who wish to rest or just sit a spell to enjoy the scenery.
For a donation to the county park system, a plaque will be attached on a bench to honor any family member or friend.
I frequently read the names and messages and imagination how other folks have enjoyed these pretty premises together in years and decades past.
Ellie B jumped up to rest, and listened when I told her she had to be respectful because she had chosen a bench with a memory.
We’re sure to return for more lake shore investigations when Karen’s feeling fit to join us. Before we left, I purchased a bottle of cold water from the machine in the building by the parking lot, and delivered refreshment to a grateful Ellie B through a cupped hand. People watched us and smiled as she drank the whole thing. Good walk, good dog.
Where do you like to walk your dog the best? Do you have a path along a lake or waterfront near your home? Does your dog swim? Have you ever purchased a plaque or marker in memory or tribute for a loved one?