I'm not sure which part of my brain was engaged this morning when I said to George, 'Let's walk by the river.' It certainly wasn't the 'it's been raining heavily for ages' bit; more likely the 'sunshine! yippee' bit.
But it was okay. Only about 70% of the path had been swamped and the bogs in which I temporarily sojourned weren't that deep. I could have done with Indy to machete a path through the brambles for me though.
On the plus side I didn't actually lose my welly and, because of the conditions, there was no-one to hear my distinctly unladylike unChristian shrieks and general mutterings. And George didn't get washed away.
George loves to swim and there are places on the riverbank that he always waits expectantly for a stick to be thrown. Because the river was running so fast I made sure I only threw them in on bends where the water was a little more still* or in an eddy, but at the end of the walk, at the point where he always goes in to clean up a bit, there wasn't a slow patch. I threw the stick in thinking he'd dip his paw in and then back out but no, not George. He lolloped in and swam downstream after the stick, which he caught. And that was when the problem started.
The current was too strong for him to swim against to get back to me so he sensibly clambered out where he was. Except he climbed out on the wrong side.
Then followed a few minutes of panic for both of us. We continued on our way downstream for a little hoping we'd find a spot he could cross. I realised we weren't that far from the bridge so if we kept on he'd be able to cross there and I tried to reassure him by telling him that. Unfortunately George was way too panicky to listen to me. He turned around and galloped back upstream ignoring my shouts and whistles.
At some point, panic must have overcome fear, and he must have braved the rapids and fought his way across because next thing he was racing down the path towards me. On the right side.
What a hero! He had some extra treats for his bravery and lots of praise.
And I haven't even mentioned the Jack Russell that bit his tail. (I don't think George noticed.)
*more still or stiller? Can you have degrees of stillness? Or is it like unique?Perhaps I should have changed it to calmer but that isn't quite right.