On Saturday we brought the Newfies to one of our favorite local parks. It used to have these gigantic mounds of dirt and gravel that we would climb with Thatcher, but all of the mounds have now been leveled into one huge open space. Because of the rain we had a few days ago, it is basically a field of mud and puddles. So naturally, the Newfies were in heaven. They tromped around chasing each other and sticks, then we walked down the the lake shore. Thatcher could hardly contain his excitement as he raced down to the water and waited for us to throw a stick for him. Usually once he's in the water, it's difficult getting him out. And this lake stays shallow for a long ways, so he would wade about 50 yards out and still be able to touch. Thatch probably got double the exercise, because fetching sticks meant hopping across the water instead of swimming. Boden, on the other hand, hasn't gotten the chance to swim very many times, so he's still a little cautious. He wanted to join Thatcher so badly, but wasn't brave enough to go deeper than his knees. So he ended up following Thatcher from the shore. When Thatcher would chase a stick, Boden would run in the same direction as fast as he could. If Thatcher actually brought a stick all the way to the shore, Boden would scoop it up and take off running, trying to get Thatcher to chase him.
Fun at the park means two very dirty, wet dogs. Once Thatcher is dry, you can brush out any sand or dirt pretty easily. Boden is another story. His soft, fine fur is like a cobweb and everything gets stuck in it. At one point, he climbed up to lie on the bed next to me. When he left, there was a pile of sand in his spot. That's when I knew a bath was necessary. I was a little nervous to give him one, but it went pretty smoothly. One of our bathrooms has a shower with a sliding door, so it's easy to keep the dogs contained in the tub. I got the shampoo and apple cider vinegar rinse ready, then called Boden into the bathroom. Instead of Boden, Thatcher came running in and jumped right into the tub, which is ironic because he despises baths. So I finally get Thatcher out and Boden in and started working. Portable shower heads are a must when bathing big dogs; they make the process so much quicker. It only took about 10 minutes to bathe Boden bear. When I finished, I opened the shower door to grab a towel and saw that Thatcher had been lying about an inch from the bathtub the whole time, sympathizing with Boden. I dried Boden off the best I could, carried him over to the couch, and he instantly fell asleep and didn't move for an hour. Baths exhaust him. Thatcher walked over to Boden with a concerned expression, gave him a kiss on the nose, then laid on the floor beneath him. Such a rough life they have.