Dog Days of Summer

Cali plucks ripe berries from a mixed cluster, leaving green ones behind

Cali enjoys summer in Montana; she gets to do all of her favorite things. I recently commented to a colleague about how “busy” Cali is, and my friend asked for details. A typical summer day for Cali might involve some work — and always involves some fun.

During late June and July, for instance, she can often be found harvesting raspberries or trying to pilfer some cherry tomatoes or strawberries from the garden. Blaming her lack of thumbs for an inability to drop berries into a bucket, she eats them all.

She is often called on to make an appearance at meetings, whether social or work gatherings, that her mom attends. She wonders what the fuss is, and she’s really over zoom. What good is it to see all those tiny people if you can’t smell them — and they can’t scritch your ears and feed you treats? She’s dying to go “back” to the office and check out some in-person meetings, not that she’s ever been to a meeting. Or an office, for that matter.

Cali swims to the bank of a river with her ballShe also enjoys swimming. We go to a huge area that belongs to the state department of natural resources conservation where dogs can run around; people walk, jog, and sometimes ride horses; and best of all, dogs can swim. There’s an irrigation canal that channels river water throughout the more rural neighborhoods of Missoula — and the natural resources department’s land.

There are two spots where the water has carved out decent-sized pools. I toss in a tennis ball and she paddles after it, over and over. She’s got a little routine where she climbs out of the water, walks about 20 feet away, shakes off the water, and drops her ball. Then she sits and waits. She’s not big on the “retriever” part of her name, and she has trained me to come over and get the ball, walk back to the edge of the channel, and throw it again. She’ll do that swim, walk, shake, sit cycle over and over, for as long as I’m willing to throw. Or until another dog comes to play in ‘her” swimming spot.

When she and the ball are waterlogged and muddy, we walk back to the car so that she can get in and shake muddy water alllllll over.

Once home, no matter what the clock says, it’s time to eat. Swimming makes Cali so hungry! I understand that! Then, perhaps she’ll relax on the deck or stretch out on a cool patch of grass.


If it’s not on video, it didn’t happen, right? So here are a couple of short (very amateur) videos.

Cali harvests raspberries, above, and enjoys a swim, below.


2 thoughts on “Dog Days of Summer

  1. Loved the story and the videos that went worth it! This short video thing could be a great addition to future blogs. It helps get the point across to those of us who need (would like) visual images to go along with the words. 😊


    The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears. Minoass proverb



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