So who says that you can’t do fun things when you are getting old? Who says that the adventures and games only belong to the young? Not my golden retriever. Not my Kayla. Last year when we visited the vet, he looked at us surprised when we told him her age. He said she was old. He said that if she were still around next year she would be considered ancient. Kayla sat there pretending she couldn’t hear. She has learned to do that in her old age. After years and years of being a ‘good dog’, and doing what she has been told, she had finally discovered that not hearing can be a handy tool when you want to do your own thing. I could see it in her eyes. No doctor was going to call her ancient. If she was getting to the end of her time, she would savor it to the last minute. I could feel we were in trouble.
Kayla loves going to Thetis Island. She is a city dog, living in a house in a lot where she is not allowed to leave on her own. She walks on a leash and is not allowed to swim at the beach. Not at Thetis. At Thetis, she walks and she runs and she swims. And ever since she decided that she can be free, she practices her freedom in a variety of ways. When no one is looking, she slowly walks towards the edge of the property and then she runs. She runs down the path towards the beach where she goes for a swim. She runs to Hummer’s house, her doggie friend who loves to play with her and whose owner seems to have a magic supply of doggie treats coming from his pocket. She has on occasion wondered how it is that he can have so many of them in such a small pocket, never running out. She has not spent too much time thinking about it, she is just happy that every time he puts his hand in his pocket a tasty treat comes out for her. So she sits and shakes her paw. After visiting Hummer, Kayla walks over to visit the eagles. They are high up on a tree, and she can hear them making a racket as they tidy up their nest and bring treats for their babies. She has discovered that they, too, have a magic supply of treats for her, throwing them down from the nest ready for her taking. She loves the fish heads and salmon that they get for her, and sometimes she even takes them home to share with her doggie sisters. She has to be careful when she does that, because her human friends seem not to like those treats as much and will hide them if they see them.
One day, Kayla was feeling particularly adventurous. She had noticed that she was always walking the same way to the same places. She wondered if there were other places at Thetis Island that needed to be explored. As she slowly walked towards the end of the property, she noticed one of Hummer’s human friends walking in the opposite direction of her regular routine. Hummer was not with her, but she didn’t worry too much. Surely Hummer’s friend was up for an adventure as well. They walked for while, and then they arrived at a party. There were lots and lots of women walking about, laughing and chatting. A party. Kayla loved parties. She noticed that the ladies were all dressed up. They looked lovely in their fresh summer dresses. She worried. She wasn’t ready for a party. She hadn’t prepared for a party. Not to worry. She looked down at the beach and figured that she could get ready quickly. Nothing like a good quick swim in the ocean, and a quick roll on rotting seaweed to get ready for such an occasion. On her way back from the beach, she visited the cows in the field, rolling some more on the ground. She was ready. The ladies were entering a big fancy hall, and scents of tasty treats drifted in the air. Oh, she felt lucky, her mouth watering in anticipation of such a lovely feast. Her heart swelling with anticipation. Then suddenly, the women started screaming and running in every direction away from her. What’s that smell? Whose dog is this? The owner of the center started yelling at her. She started screaming and yelling ‘no dogs allowed, no dogs allowed’. No one seemed to know what to do. They ran and they yelled. They cried and they tripped. Finally, someone got close to Kayla. Kayla sat nicely, shaking her paw. Maybe someone would finally give her a treat. The woman talked to her kindly and looked at her collar. Hmmm, she knew her name! She knew she was Kayla.
After her human friends picked her up, she had five baths and five shampoos. She didn’t really care for the bathing part, but she loved the feel of the sun drying her hair as she laid on the grass.
Softly, breathing deeply and slowly, warmed by the sun on her clean body, she fell asleep and dreamt about her adventures. Kayla’s day out.