July 4th, 2018
After weeks of waiting for the ice to melt off Jean Lake and its trail to dry up of run off from melting snow banks, Baily and I returned with much anticipation. I wondered if she would remember bounding into the cold icy water to retrieve a thrown branch. Seven months of snow is a long stretch between lake romps. She didn’t forget. Her nose hardly left the ground once we veered off our usual street walk and onto the trail leading to the lake. Her bushy tail swished back and forth with enthusiasm. I was equally excited after spending almost 2 ½ weeks recovering from a lingering flu bug. Long walks were put on hold as I felt too weak and exhausted to go far. When we first returned, the water level had risen enough to cover a portion of the trail. The town had issued an advisory warning so I expected a couple of detours along the way. It turned out that I took the detours while Bailey waded through the water. Thankfully, I had taken another leash that clipped to her regular one. This leash extension allowed Bailey to have an extra 6 feet and kept me from getting my hiking boots soaked.
The two of us have witnessed rabbits, squirrels and a variety of birds on these early morning walks. Bailey even caught sight of a school of minnows swimming near her. Her mouth and paws failed to catch any of them. On my part, I picked up garbage and admired the scenery. Some days, I would marvel at Bailey’s fur rippling in the blowing wind. Her stoic presence as she looked out over the lake’s crashing waves reminded me of Bailey’s heritage. It does not take much to envision her on the prow of a ship from days gone by. Each walk ends with a highly anticipated treat for Bailey and a second cup of coffee for me. Today’s walk may be over but, a new one awaits us tomorrow.