Saturday, August 18, 2012

Hot dogs and ripe tomatoes

A Saharan wind is blowing across our part of the globe, with heatwave alerts for 40C temperatures in the south-west of France. As the heat goes up, the window shutters are closed or left with a small crack for light. Munson and I retreat to the coolest interior space of the house or I head for the pond to do some dredging and bank-rebuilding for a few hours.
Lavender, garlic and tomatoesAside from a burst of rain one evening this week, it’s already been a very warm August where I’ve watched my tomatoes ripen from just a tinge of orange to a full-bodied red in the course of a day.  I missed out on the harvest last year as the drought blasted away most of my small vegetable patch while in the UK for my Offa’s Dyke walking holiday. This week I’m taking more precautions with watering, and draping exposed plants with towels during the least forgiving days.

Anticipating an afternoon furnace, I took Munson to the lake for a morning swim. A few days ago I’d received a replacement for my drowned waterproof camera, but put it aside so we could just laze around in the water. My toes located some large sticks on the lake floor which I threw out further for Munson to pursue. Since they sank rather quickly I threw out more in succession so that he’d trace out a long arc back to shore. Bondi & Munson, September 2008Munson is just as much of a water-lover as Bondi ever was, but we interact very differently once we’re in the water. Gigantic Bondi liked to stay close to me and would paddle over to wherever I was swimming to have me hold him, even if I had to tread water to do so.

Munson on the other hand is more independent but will come looking for me if I swim underwater for more than ten seconds. He also likes to play in the water at wading depth as we would on land: if I do a standing dive from within the water, he treats that as a play invitation and dances side to side, giving big “woo-woos”. With the lake nestled between the well grazed slopes of several hills, his voice travels quickly across the water and echoes back to us.

Splashing also invites a vocal response from Munson (his “you’re shitting me” woo) and an attempt to get involved whereas Bondi would have avoided that and headed off for calmer waters.

Both dogs will pay attention to activity under the water and fully submerge their head to grab at a passing fish or to extract something from the sand or clay. At Lupiac, there are quite a few little fish and the occasional turtle that Munson will track when he’s in water not clouded with clay.

Quite a few people bring their dogs to the lake but as far as I can tell, I’m the only person who swims with one. I’m sure that some of the dogs who are “afraid of water” would quickly overcome this if their bipeds would show them the way. Those bipeds are also missing out on the beatific expression on the dog’s face all the way home.

1 comment:

  1. Steph Swainston7:07 pm

    'Both dogs will pay attention to activity under the water and fully submerge their head to grab at a passing fish or to extract something from the sand or clay.'

    My labrador, Holly, did this too. She would dig up shellfish just to examine them. I'm sure all dogs are Natural Historians.