We had a new store open near us this past summer and Ray immediately liked them. It had nothing to do with the staff, nor did it have anything to with the business that they were in, but it had everything to do with the water bowl they put outside for any passing dogs! What they had was a large upturned water bottle (reservoir) which maintained a level of water in a bowl below.
We came across this by chance as the store just happened to be on our route as we were heading back after a walk. Ray homed in on it right away and consumed a considerable amount of water, which was a bit of a surprise because his tendency was to ignore water bowls. A number of stores put them out but Ray has rarely gone beyond dipping his tongue a couple of times.
The next time we were out on our walk he totally ignored any water bowl that we saw but, as soon as he realized that we were heading for home, he made sure that our route passed that store. This time he had an even longer drink before I could coax him away.
This was the pattern for quite a few walks, and then he surprised me once again by placing his front paws in the bowl! It was quite a hot day so one thought was that he was simply cooling his front paws but then, why not turn around and dip the back ones? Another possibility was that he felt “crowded” by the reservoir and was trying to move the bowl further away from it. He gave us the answer a few days later when he put both his front paws into the bowl and seemed to be trying to pull the bowl towards himself and away from the reservoir. His quite gentle attempts were not working for him so he suddenly put all his weight behind the task and proceeded to move the complete assembly about a foot across the sidewalk! I just happened to look through the store window and saw a man inside having a laugh at Ray’s antics.
As we progressed through the summer, Ray gave up on moving the bowl however, it did become his regular “watering place”. The water was not cooled although it was in a sheltered location so I concluded that the attraction was simply freshness. As dogs drank from the bowl and/or the water just evaporated, it would be topped up accordingly. Looking at other water bowls as we walked through town, it was clear that some had been out for a long time based on the debris floating around. Others would have been in full sun and so probably not too enticing.
I guess that Ray is simply a dog with discerning tastes, well at least when it comes to water!