Words and Images from Ed Felker

Joy

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe conditions were right. The day was hot, river was low and relatively clear but still cool, and I hadn’t spent quality time with my dogs, Team Orange, in too long. I knew they would enjoy romping in the river this evening, the first such outing this summer.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat I sometimes forget about dogs — maybe my dogs, probably all dogs — is their almost limitless capacity for joy. I’m not sure I have ever seen them happier than they were tonight, with bright eyes, wagging tails, curious exploration, barks of joy and irrepressible affection. Here Winnie has a blast digging up a stick. Simple pleasures.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABut when I wasn’t throwing a stick or toy for them, they were content — as I was — just quietly watching the river lazily push toward us and pass by without a sound.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs great as those Adult Swim moments are, though, this trip to the river was about the kids. They seem to love this water level, shallow enough to bound through it after a toy, but with spots deep enough to swim, too. Here Finn shakes off after returning the bumper.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASandy got them this great bumper toy from Chuckit! that they just love. It’s easy to spot, floats high in the water and is soft in their mouth. Finn is much stronger (and taller, which helps) in shallower water where he can bound through it. Once they are swimming, they are both about equal. But Finn will stay and wait if Winnie hasn’t gotten one in a while, and let me throw it just for her to retrieve.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGod I love this dog. This is one of my favorite things, the watching. Something either touched her foot or caught her eye and she stared at it like this for a minute or more, fascinated. What a lovable dork.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe were having so much fun I decided to get comfortable and bring a chair from the bank. This is not my worst idea.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’m noticing that Finn does this quite a bit, just stands on my foot. More often than one would expect it to occur accidentally. Regardless, I like it. He can do this as long as he wants.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is an interesting study to me, kind of a microcosm of their personalities. Finn facing me, waiting for instruction or affection. Winnie nearby, but facing out. Observing.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt was an immensely enjoyable evening for all of us. These dogs are such a big part of my life, it warmed my heart to see them nearly overwhelmed with joy.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThanks for reading about our river romp, I hope you enjoyed the photos. And don’t forget to hug your dog today!

10 Responses

  1. Great stuff, Ed! Love the perspective!

    June 26, 2013 at 9:24 am

  2. Peg

    It is always heart-warming to read about you and your “kids”, there couldn’t be a better home for those two-and the others in your mini zoo. Give that fuzzy girl a big hug for us-Peg

    June 26, 2013 at 9:47 am

    • Done, Peg! Thanks so much, I’m glad you enjoy following our adventures. That fuzzy girl and her less fuzzy brother enrich my life every day, and I will never forget your part in that.

      June 26, 2013 at 1:11 pm

  3. i love these pics!

    June 26, 2013 at 12:14 pm

  4. Linda Hershey

    Oh I love this. Thanks for sharing. Our HWV, Kedi seems to need to always be touching my husbands leg – as if to ensure he is not leaving her. I love the dogs’ collars, where did you get them?

    June 26, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    • Hi Linda. I don’t know if that’s why Finn does that or not, but he is exactly the type of personality who would. As for the collars, a friend of mine made those for me out of that ultra strong parachute cord. Between that and the metal buckles, those collars will last forever, they are virtually indestructible. I keep telling him he needs to make them and sell them!

      June 26, 2013 at 1:13 pm

  5. Nice recount of the day with the dogs Ed. Always love seeing photos of your adventures and your view of things. :)

    June 26, 2013 at 1:50 pm

  6. Great post, good reminders for me to remember and notice when out with my own pups. I thought about hitting the river this afternoon but work kept me too busy. Our pair is so similar to yours it’s crazy. Maybe I will do a mirror post of yours with pics of my own next time we are out.

    Linda, we can hook you up with some collars. I have nearly gotten my paracord work station complete so I can bust out some collars.

    Wonderful post as usual Ed.

    June 26, 2013 at 2:28 pm

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  8. Ed, great blog, I just found you off ‘hiking with dogs’. You’re photo’s are really great and it’s nice to see someone else who loves and appreciates their dog’s for their dog-ness, I’m the same with mine. I especially love the one of your dog staring into the water. I LOVE when Luka does this – I could watch her for hours.

    I noticed in your photo up top that one of your dogs if comfortably in some compartment of your kayak. I’m just getting into Kayaking and want to with my dog who’s a 65lb shepherd/mastiff mix who loves the water too. What kind of kayak is that? She looks really happy in it!

    July 11, 2013 at 2:33 pm

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