Finding water for the dogs is not easy here on the high desert. Our go-to pond was dry today, with the added insult of ATV tracks defacing the bed. Six miles down the road, earnest anglers offloaded gear with nary a smile as I surrendered that pond to them. They didn’t look like they were going to have much fun, eyeing me warily as I passed.
We skulked away via the gravel track that paralleled an irrigation canal. Wide, slow-moving and deep, it beckoned. If nothing else, a quick dip would cool my dogs as they ran the sandy edges, darting among junipers and sage.
It wasn’t long before Buddy took a halting, tentative step into the clear cool water. A few dog-paddle strokes, and he was done and ready for the truck.
Manny’s pace and distance were more intense. His darker coat soaked up sun, encouraging a water entry worthy of a dock dog. Weightless in the gentle current, he kicked a few uninspired strokes and up the bank he went.
Then, the thought: what was a canal, but a long, skinny pond? The gravel road was an arsenal of swim-inspiring stones. Once in the water, Manny was motivated to swim up- and down-current by intriguing splashes just ahead of him, a bearded Michael Phelps sans Speedo.
Necessity is indeed the mother of invention.