Smokey, a portly black pit mix with a graying snout, was the lucky recipient of said joy. He continually dropped the sneaker in a small divot of mud, then chased it with glee as we hurled the abandoned shoe back into the water.
|Smokey & the Shoe|
But wait, let's back up a bit.
We had decided that we wanted to do a road trip with one of the shelter dogs instead of our usual routine. Walking dogs around the facility is a great way to get them out and about, but it doesn't seem as invigorating as a get-in-the-car, find-a-fun-place, and let-them-romp destination.
Smokey, a 10-year-old who was recently surrendered by his owner, was our first test subject. The American River parkway was our destination. We weren't sure how he would react.
Would he be scared? Would he feel comfortable? Would he like the water?
The answers to those questions? No. Yes. Hell yes.
We entered the The American River Parkway from an entry just off American River Drive near Rio Americano High School. I've been to the American River plenty of times, but this area is incredibly inviting. Biking trails, jogging trails, and shady wooded trails that lead you on a journey along the tranquil waters.
There are wild flowers, rocky bluffs, and amazing views that have you believing you are far from civilization.
Ten minutes into our walk and we were at a small beach along the river. Smokey wasted no time, prancing into the water and exploring. He struck gold immediately in the form a single white sneaker. And the fetching was on.
You could gauge his sheer pleasure by the crooked look he gave us every time he dropped the sneaker at our feet. "Throw the damn thing," his eyes said. "I don't have all day here."
He didn't have all day. But we gave him a few hours. And he devoured every minute of it, tugging us down winding dirt trails and chasing sticks at the river's edge.
At one point, Smokey found a rather large stick in the water. Maybe stick isn't the right word. It was like a small tree. He gathered it in his jaw and yanked it right out of the water. Damn impressive.
Our road trip was a tremendous success. And we gave Smokey a joyful respite from his situation.
Great scenery. Great dog.
Not a bad way to spend a Sunday morning.
(If you can't see the video below, please view it HERE.)
Update: Happily, Smokey has been adopted after a terrific foster family took him in and gave him the time he needed to find his family.