Summer Dog Days

Posted by Pia

There is little in life as uplifting as witnessing dogs playing in water. Their reckless abandon and complete lack of self consciousness are a joy to witness. They remind us to enjoy the moment and to gain some perspective on the simpler things that can bring us meaning and joy. So with the summer in full swing, be sure not to let concerns of muddy feet in the house or sandy paws in the car rob you, and your best bud, of what life's simpler pleasures have to offer. The following photos capture such moments beautifully. And it's not just dogs who enjoy the perks of sun, sand and a day at the beach....

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Benedict (AKA Big Ben):

1 Benedict (AKA Big Ben): "1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi...."

2 "My stick...no, my stick...no, that would be my stick...ummm yeah, this is my stick..." Photo by Paul Morse

Oliver:

3 Oliver: "This makes me wanna Pee..." Photo by Kelly Graham

Mikkosha and JhaMeikko:

4 Mikkosha and JhaMeikko: "Um..seems the cabana boy must have left for the day. Where might 2 lovely ladies get some towels and perhaps a mint julep or 2?"

Boggie:

5 Boggie: "Yeah.. it was right around here... I'm certain of it... just seconds ago..."

6 "Ummm, I found this in the fountain...not sure what to do with it...I suspect it's lost...but I'd hate for it to go to waste...It'd be a shame to leave it and have it go un-played with...I'm just saying..." Photo of Eva by Paul Morse

What's a day at the beach without a bunch of rescued pooches and their humans?

7 What's a day at the beach without a bunch of rescued pooches and their humans?

8 "Ummm yeah... Clearly this was mom's idea, not mine. Let the record reflect that."

9 "Not to brag, but these Land's End and J. Crew modeling gigs buy us a lot of kibble!" Photo by Paul Morse

Schooner:

10 Schooner: "My humans never seem to tire of this Gilligan's Island look. Seems so 70's to me...but it does make them happy"

The doggy version of Hollywood's walk of fame. Photo by Paul Morse

11 The doggy version of Hollywood's walk of fame. Photo by Paul Morse

12 "Mom, might you be willing to stop for a snow cone at some point?"

13 "I got a ball! I got a ball! I got a ball!" Photo by Paul Morse

Priscilla and Cassie: Girls day at the beach.

14 Priscilla and Cassie: Girls day at the beach.

Peach ponders the changing seasons in Sausalito... and when she will get a treat.

15 Peach ponders the changing seasons in Sausalito... and when she will get a treat.

16 "Yeah..I'm kinda skinny dipping down here. Not really up for you taking photos of me naked. Thanks..." Photo by Paul Morse

Kali wonders when the barbeque is gonna start...
Photo by Julie Kramer

17 Kali wonders when the barbeque is gonna start... Photo by Julie Kramer

Brutus:

18 Brutus: "I'm really more of a 'lay on the beach' kinda guy, but I'll give it a whirl..."

Babs:

19 Babs: "Oh now we're going surfing? It may be novel for my family to have a chicken as a pet but this is really a bit much, no?" FYI- Chickens actually do make great companions. They are loyal and smart.

Eva's favorite time of day. She gets the beach all to herself. Photo by Paul Morse.

20 Eva's favorite time of day. She gets the beach all to herself. Photo by Paul Morse.

Flip Flop:

21 Flip Flop: "Bunnies like sun and sand too. I'm a bunny of leisure."

Eva is determined to find buried treasure...or a bone...same thing! Photo by Paul Morse

22 Eva is determined to find buried treasure...or a bone...same thing! Photo by Paul Morse

Lucy loves to play with the minnows! Photo by Glen Halvorson

23 Lucy loves to play with the minnows! Photo by Glen Halvorson

Chico:

24 Chico: "Will these paparazzi ever give me a moment of privacy?"

25 "Can you angle that a bit more in my direction?" Photo by Paul Morse

FafiKitty yoga.

26 FafiKitty yoga. "Namaste"

Buddy:

27 Buddy: "Why do I feel like I need to sneeze?" Photo by Dan Cohen

28 "Marco...Polo... Marco...Hey your eyes are open!" Photo by Paul Morse

Darla:

29 Darla: "Don't tell anyone, but I think my mom peed in the lake... you didn't hear that from me, though."

Boo:

30 Boo: "Must we do this?"

Speak no evil. See no evil. Hear no evil. Photo by Paul Morse

31 Speak no evil. See no evil. Hear no evil. Photo by Paul Morse

Popeye:

32 Popeye: "That's a relief! I was just parched!"

Maggy and an Atlantic Ghost Crab:

33 Maggy and an Atlantic Ghost Crab: "I don't believe I've ever met a dog like you before!"

Iggy:

34 Iggy: "I'll get it! I'll get it! I'll get it!

35 "Nothing like a dip in nature's pool!" Photo by Paul Morse

Chico:

36 Chico: "Will this shift never end? I'm so hung over."

37 "These beach chairs are just fabulous! They are comfy, waterproof, durable..."

Halen and Bubble: This photo just needs some mariachi music in the background....

38 Halen and Bubble: This photo just needs some mariachi music in the background....

While our furry best friends are splashing around and indulging their senses, they periodically look back to see if we are still there watching them. I can't help but think that this is not only to assure themselves we are still there but perhaps, also as their open invitation to take part in the joy of the moment. An invitation these special creatures are always offering us if we stop our busy lives long enough to receive it.

While summer is a perfect time to recharge and gain perspective, our furry family members offer us this opportunity year round. Perhaps we should start thinking of a simple fall walk with Fido or a spring romp in the creek with Sparky as a mini summer of sorts. Pure. Simple. Our own little 'Energizer Bunny' if you will....

In kinship,

Dr. Pia Salk

Important: Summer's heat can be very dangerous for our companion animals -- often in ways we are not aware of. Please take a moment to review these life-saving tips for summer heat.

Special thanks to Paul Morse, whose photos of Eva and friends capture the joy of dogs at play so beautifully! Many other photos in today's gallery are from our readers. Be sure to check out the hundreds of great photos sent in by those of you who participated in our monthly photo contests. And feel free to send me more photos at drpia.dw@gmail.com!

Comments (7)

  • Dr. Pia those pictures were great. I have to tell you that my mom wasn't happy after looking at all those dogs enjoying the water. I live with 3 big Labs and we have an inground pool, really nice looks just like a lake. Well those silly Labs won't swim with mom. She's tried everything but they just sit along the edge and watch. I on the other hand do enjoy a dip once in a while but as you know us Frenchies aren't the best swimmers.

    Mom has tried all kinds of floating toys with treats to get them to swim she even carried them in but our Labs swim right to the steps and out they go. The strange thing is that in the winter they love to play on the saftey cover and roll in the water - go figure - just crazy dogs.

    Basil and Tasha I'm praying for you, I hope you are feeling better soon.

    Zoe

  • Hello ladies, Kirby here.
    Hello to you too Dr. Pia. It’s good that some dogs like the water, but I really don’t like getting wet. One time when we were in Montana, we visited Fort Peck Lake. The day was hot at well above 100 and the sun was shinning. As we walked along the lake, I got my feet wet and the cool water felt just fine. I decided to stroll out a little more. Mommy was watching me closely and could see that I was getting near a ledge. The water was so clear that you could see down 10 feet or more. I stepped off of the ledge and was in over my head. That’s when I found out that I could swim. It was so much fun and it cooled me down right away. As I said, I usually don’t like go get wet but I can make exceptions to my rule.
    Catch you later, Kirby.

  • What darling photos! I really enjoyed them.....
    yes, summer heat can be bad for your pets, keeping a pet in a car with windows up in high heat can be deadly...we had a pit-bull puppy die yesterday in town cause some STUPID owner left it to bake without thinking twice...I can' tell you how angry I was...if I see something like that, I WILL break a window!

  • Hi Dr. Pia: I bet that would be lots of fun playing with other pups in the water. As long as it's not very deep, I would do just fine. When I was little, momma bought me a baby pool and I did not like it at all, but then I didn't have any other pups to splash around with. Oh well......

    Paws crossed Basil and Tasha. Basil, I hope you are home from the hospital today and feeling much better.

    Well, it's time for my early morning nap. It is very hot and awful humid today. UGH! Momma said that with the heat index (what is that anyways) it has been over 100 the past few days.

    Take care everyone and drink plenty of cool, refreshing water. See ya later. Love, Gracyn.

  • Exactly what we did last weekend. It was special, sun,sand,water and new dog friends. Though is hard to get beagles in the water. A splendid day and clean dogs. Thanks for sharing. Teri, and Ed, Daisy and Gracie.

  • Hi Dr. Pia, I absolutely love looking at these photos over and over again! They are soooo cute! Animals always love attention and whenever they are doing something with you, they always enjoy you watching and talking to them. It's hot here in the Puget Sound area today-up to 94 possible. Both DDR and Bogie (part-time cat) are doing a lot of sleeping in cool places. Thanks again for another great blog! P.S. Lynn, sure hope Basil and Tasha are doing better today. Take care. Jan

  • Looks like fun I want to join in. I just got shaved so I could swim no more fur until summer is over.
    Such cute doggie photos

    Mrs. Bosley Chow Chow.

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