Want to feel like a kid again? Want your dog to act like a puppy again? Take a walk. In the rain.
As Mom used to say, we are not made of sugar. A little rain won’t melt us. In fact, it re-awakens feelings, smells, even tastes (if you look up with your mouth open) that you haven’t experienced in years, maybe decades.
It all started innocently enough. Dogs – and humans – need exercise. Leaden skies notwithstanding, ya gotta go. Buddy, out and back with nary a drop. But a chilly breeze foretold weather in the offing.
Fair is fair, so Manny dons an e-collar and heads for the desert with his “handler” in hot pursuit. Still air, like the moment before a curtain goes up. Then someone opened the tap, drenching both of us in record time.
A couple miles from home, what’s a soaking-wet guy and his equally sopping dog going to do? Revel in it. (Lemons, lemonade.) I remember splashing home from elementary school, sloshing shoes and the smell of wet cotton clothes. That not-all-bad feeling of pant legs plastered to legs. All mitigated by the jolt of energy every hunting dog gets from a cold front’s onslaught. Is it physical or mental? Simple ambient temperature or those negative ions floating around in mass quantity?
Every whistle blast brings the smell of wet dog to my side … admit it – you love that odor as much as I do! And wet sage offers a pastel overlay to the desert landscape that is not visual, but olfactory. The sand, junipers, pines, all contribute to the symphony of smells that is desert bathed in liquid jewels falling from the sky.
Even pulling off boots in the mud room, the senses are prompted: gritty sand on boots, wet towels scrubbing what NAVHDA judges call a “harsh dense” dog coat, that welcome inner glow that means your core is thawing. The juxtaposition of warm and dry with cold and wet: people, dogs, air, and mindset. Pass the single malt, please.