Saturday, October 9, 2010


Wow!  Mom really surprised Mel and me yesterday when she drove us over to Shawnee Mission Park, where there is a big off-leash area that is a really fun place to run around.  I already knew it was a fun place because Mom took us there in the past, but she hasn't taken us there for a couple of years.  Mostly, she hasn't taken us there because she's been too busy.  Either that, or it's too hot or too cold or too muddy to go there.  But yesterday was a perfect day for our adventure, except that maybe it was a little hot, which made us pant a lot.

Anyway, there were a bunch of people and dogs at the park, and we walked down this big, wide trail right through the middle of it.  Of course, we had to make side trips mark the trees and some of the grass clumps.  We like to walk faster than Mom does, but we also like to stop and sniff stuff, which she doesn't take the time to do.  We made sure we kept her in view, though, because we didn't want her to get lost and not be able to find her way back to the car.

There were all kinds of dogs at the park, and we met some of them, but mostly we just kept going toward the lake.  Mel went up to some people, and a little boy tried to pet him, and Mel snapped at the boy.  Mom apologized to the boy's mom, but she glared at mom.  We hurried away from there so that we wouldn't get in trouble again.  Mom was sorry she didn't tell the boy not to pet Mel, but she also thought the boy's mom should have taught him not to try to pet a dog he didn't know.  Anyway, except for that one incident, we were pretty well behaved.

When we got down to the off-leash beach, I went in the water and lay down, just like I do in my wading pool at home.  The lake is really just like a wading pool, except lots bigger.

Some of the dogs there were swimming in the water, but I don't know how to swim, so I stayed where it was shallow.

Mel doesn't even like to wade in the water, except maybe to get his toes wet, so mostly all he did was drink the water.  Mom worries about us drinking lake water because she says we might get giardia, which gives you a bunch of diarrhea or something like that.  

But who cares?  I think it's just nice to get in the cool water on a hot day and maybe lap some of it up, because being hot can really make you thirsty.

There were a couple of German shepherds at the beach who kept swimming out to get a tennis ball after their mom threw it in the lake.  This seems a little silly, but it looked like they were having fun.

And this other dog was named Dolly.  She was very friendly to Mom and got Mom all wet.  Dolly's mom said she was part German shepherd and part golden retriever, and she was only 9 months old.

We also saw a Boston terrier, a puggle, two springer spaniels, a German shorthaired pointer, a vizsla, a golden retriever, and several mixed breed dogs.  All of them were there with their humans.  And some of the male humans took their shirts off because maybe they were trying to get a tan or something, but Mom is way too old to be interested in that kind of thing.

Anyway, after we left the beach, we went on a trail through the woods, which was shady and nice and full of interesting stuff to smell.

Mom took a picture of a mossy log, but I'm not sure why.  Mel and I did not even stop to sniff it.

These little white flowers are called fleabane.  This isn't a very good picture of them, but they look like little tiny daisies.  People used to think that if they put this plant in their house or in their mattresses, it would keep fleas away, but now we know that they were wrong about this.

Another plant we saw was a tennis-ball tree.  Or at least we thought it was a tree with tennis balls growing on it.  But Mom said those were Osage oranges, not tennis balls.  I don't know why they call them "oranges" when they are not orange at all, but sometimes humans do strange things.

On the way back to the car, Mel had to stop and have diarrhea.  And then I had to have diarrhea, too.  Mom thought maybe we had already got giardia, only 20 minutes after drinking lake water.  But then she decided maybe we were just excited about our adventure, and that's why we had the diarrhea.

While we were driving home, I had to take a little nap because I was worn out.  Mel was still too excited to sleep in the car, but when we got home, everybody took naps -- even Mom.  I hope we can go back to Shawnee Mission Park soon, because that was really fun.  But Mom mostly hopes we don't get giardia!

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