There’s a Time and a Place for Everything

ignoring water
Pettigrew on a long hike. Doesn’t he look thirsty?

Pettigrew has a special relationship with water. In its proper place, water is welcome. Otherwise, he’d prefer to pass.

On rainy days he dawdles in the house, reluctant to go on a walk. I end up pulling him out the door by his leash, feeling like I’m dragging him toward some awful fate. Once outside, he lingers on the porch, looking up at me with those incredulous brown eyes. Could I really expect him to go out in this weather?

Growing up, my dog would accomplish her business lickety-split on a rainy day so that she could get back to where it’s warm and dry.

Not Pettigrew. Once wet, he’s resigned to his fate and he refuses to hurry. Or, perhaps, now that I’ve made him wet, he’s going to keep me outside, no shortcuts.

He sniffs bushes. Spends extra effort on the fire hydrant. Indulges in a thorough once over of certain tree trunks.

He is more likely to heel if it is raining. I’m suspicious that this is not due to his sudden interest in exhibiting good manners as much as his desire to share my umbrella.

Similarly, Pettigrew has a strong sense of the rights and wrongs for water on a hike.

We often notice dogs off-leash frolicking in the creek. Pettigrew doesn’t even like to get his paws wet. When confronted with a small stream to cross, he leads the way to the shallowest, narrowest section before mincing his way through the water.

He usually even refuses to drink from a portable water bowl. Waiting until we are home, he nosily slurps, sloshing water on the floor in his haste.

We’re baffled. If he’s so thirsty, why didn’t he drink on the trail? Only Pettigrew knows why. He’s a dog of mystery.


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