Animals · pets

The Fun and Aftermath of Saltwater


Sunday afternoon we took Smarty to the dog park in Edmonds, where there is a fenced saltwater beach area for the dogs to swim. It was not the best idea I’ve ever had. It was hot, bright and there were tons of people so it was too chaotic for me. I don’t do well with too crowded, too busy, too hot, too bright or too loud. All of those things together just lead to immediately sensory overload, which makes me ready to freak out over the littlest thing.

Smarty wasn’t bothered by any of that though. He was excited to finally be set free near water so he could swim.


He had some dogs try to join him but, as usual, he was rather indifferent to their presence and desire to play with him.



It was a rather bittersweet experience for Don and I. Although it was fun to watch Smarty swimming and having fun, it was difficult to watch him struggle getting in and out of the water. We know his back legs are weak but we weren’t expecting the gentle waves of the Puget Sound to knock him down. His struggles didn’t seem to bother him but it made us sad. We decided that we will take him to small lakes for swimming from now on.

Especially after what happened later that night. Don had to get up at 2, 4 and 5 to let Smarty out. (Somehow, I slept through the whole crisis!) Apparently, Smarty swallowed some saltwater while swimming around and it upset his sensitive tummy. He felt terrible yesterday so I spent the day pampering him, making him Slippery Elm bark tea to drink and chicken and rice to eat.

It didn’t help that yesterday was unseasonably hot. Michael’s car thermometer said it was 91 when he got home at 4:00 yesterday afternoon. The sudden shift from early spring temps to August temps made me feel sick, so I’m guessing it didn’t help poor Smarty any.

He seems to be back to his old self today though because he was feeling well enough to do his usual naughty trick of  barking at the cats while they’re trying to eat their canned food. Although his morning shenanigans can be exasperating, I love to see the old man feeling well and happy enough to perform those shenanigans!



13 thoughts on “The Fun and Aftermath of Saltwater

  1. Sadly back leg issues seem to be a thing with the bigger dogs like labs and shepherds. I’m very lucky that Cindy although part lab is more slightly built like her staffy part and as long as I watch her weight she seems to do OK. Nearly all our dogs have loved the water and it’s worth the “wet dog smell” to see them enjoy it.

    1. Yes, it is worth the wet dog smell! Smarty seemed so happy the first time we let him go in the water, like he was really excited to show us what he could do.

      It is sad the way so many dogs are afflicted with back leg issues. That’s what we lost our last dog to last year. I’m glad Cindy’s legs are doing well!

  2. Smarty looks like he appreciated you both bringing him for a swim. My Sassy also had back leg difficulties. Actually Smarty has the same coloring and size as Sassy, except my dearly departed had a fluffy tail. Wonderful to see your photos, Trisha. 🙂

    1. The back leg issues are such a hard thing to see them struggle with and sadly so common in certain types of dogs. I think Smarty enjoyed the trip anyway, although he looks kind of worried in a couple of the photos. I hope he knows that we were both ready to wade out to save him if he should get into any trouble!

  3. Looks like Smarty had a great time, even if he did pay for it later. I was hiding inside from the heat yesterday and today. Summer in April. Ugh! Also ugh to hot, noisy, and crowded!

    1. I know, right? Summer in April! Ugh! I wasn’t expecting to deal with 90 degree temps for a few more months. I’ve been hiding inside too, both from the heat and the pollen. I hope this heat wave isn’t a sign of what this summer will be like.

  4. Smarty may not want to play with the other dogs, but it’s cool that he has so many followers like that!

    91!?! Ick! It hasn’t even gotten that warm here yet. I hope this isn’t going to be one of those miserable summers like we had 4 years ago…

    1. Smarty has some kind of doggie charisma! Other dogs seem to like him right away, even though he’s usually indifferent or downright grumpy.

      I hope it isn’t going to be one of those miserable summers like we had last year. I think 2012 was a cool summer for us. Or, maybe is was 2011. I just remember shivering through one summer a few years ago. It was wonderful!

    1. It makes me feel better to know that I’m not the only people avoider! I generally stay cloistered at home on the weekends, as much as possible. I just don’t enjoy traffic and crowds.

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