We have a private school within walking distance, which has natural wooded areas on both sides of it, and the property goes down to Lake Ontario. Fortunately for us, and numerous others, it also has a public access trail which generally follows the property boundaries.
Ray has been there a few times but, as it is not considered too practical in the winter, today was his first visit this year. The walk there and back was quite uneventful however, once we were on the school property and following the trail which was then alongside sports fields, he decided that he wanted to play. He leaped around and grabbed sticks and generally behaved like a puppy. He was happy!
We then followed the trail down to the lake. I was curious to see how he would react to so much water. Would he remember it from last year? He appeared to remember it very well because he had no hesitation whatsoever in walking straight into the water!
I watched in amazement as he wandered casually along the shoreline and stayed in around 6 inches of water. The water temperature in our area was apparently 4C/39F which makes me shudder just thinking about it, but I must conclude that dogs are not that sensitive to temperature on their legs and feet!
After a few minutes, he came out and we continued to follow the trail when we met two boys who were wearing that school’s uniform and were clearly involved in a game of hide and seek. Ray just gave them the “You got any treats?” look as we moved on. We soon started to pass behind some tennis courts which were being well used but, despite all those tennis balls laying around (albeit on the other side of the fence) Ray showed no interest in them.
A short time later however, he saw one on the grass on our side of the fence. My immediate thought was to toss it over the tennis courts fence, but in the time it took me to make that decision, Ray had already got it and was tossing it around. Eventually, as is his habit, he lost interest and we headed for home.
It is lovely to think that the weather will now allow many more trail-type walks with Ray, because he always seems so much happier when in more natural surroundings. We have renewed our subscription to our local Conservation Area Authority so bring on the good weather. All three of us are ready for some happy trail times!