Dog Fish

Taking Lila to a nearby lake to go for a swim was something we’ve been talking about off and on ever since we got her. The only reason we didn’t take her earlier was because Lila has a habit of running away from us when we let her off her leash. Yesterday my husband and I decided to take her to a nearby lake. We had to drive a few miles. If she was going to run away, it would be a long way for her to find her way back home.

As the three of us rode along in our mini-van, Lila sat patiently behind us on the floor with her nose pointing straight ahead. Usually she sits on one of the open seats so she can get a better view. I think she knew something different was happening.  After we parked, got out and walked down the hill to the lake, Lila showed how happy she was by quickly pulling Dad along the path. We walked by a boy fishing off a dock and a couple of men who were with a yellow lab at another dock. The yellow lab had a life jacket hooked up around its waist and was practicing retrieving a bumper from the dock.

“It’s going to be hard for that boy to catch any fish with the dog jumping in and out of the lake!” I said. As we headed a little bit further down the path, we found the perfect spot to let Lila off her leash. Dad threw the tennis ball into the lake, and Lila went after it just like we hoped. She retrieved the ball, turned around and headed back towards us. We cheered her on and told her what a great swimmer she is. As soon as she got out of the water, she shook some of it off on us just to let us know how it felt.  We threw the tennis ball in a couple more times, and Lila did a great job of retrieving it.

Lila has a habit of getting a little wild look in her eyes right before she runs away from us. Having the idea that she might take off, we were always sure to keep a close watch and grabbed onto her collar every time she got out of the water. Now that we know she trained us properly on how to watch out for her, we will try taking her for a swim again someday soon.

As we started to leave the lake, we met a family with two young children carrying fishing poles.

“What’s that?” one of the children asked while pointing at Lila.

“It’s a Dog Fish,” said my husband.

“What’s a Dog Fish?” the little boy asked.  His head was cocked to the side as he looked at our beautiful black lab that was dripping water from her soaking fur.

“Nah, I’m just kidding.  This is our dog.”

“Is it a boy or a girl?” the little girl asked.

“She’s a girl.  Her name is Lila,” said Dad.

They asked their mom if they could pet Lila, and she said yes.  Lila patiently waited until the kids were done.  What our dog really wanted was to explore more of the park.

As the family walked away, I smiled at each of them even though the Mom gave me a little bit of a bewildered look through her sweet smile!  I think she might have appreciated the joke about the Dog Fish, but I don’t know for sure because no one laughed.

It looked like Lila enjoyed her swim because after she ate her dinner, she was mellow for the rest of the night.  She was one worn out Dog Fish!

A person who has never owned a dog has missed a wonderful part of life. ~Bob Barker


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