Dog Days of Summer

We are loving summertime here at The Loyal Dog! The relaxed, happy, tongue-lolling dogs who greet us at their homes or visit us in the studio remind us how wonderful summer can be, even when it's "too hot". Their devoted owners -- our clients and friends -- are more cheerful these days, too.

What's not to love about this complete turnabout from the (now-distant) cloudy, chilly days of this past spring?

My own dogs Bo and Linus have been spending their time this summer divided between the yard, where the grass is cool and the nattering squirrels and neighbor dogs make for pleasant diversion, and the porch, where they stretch out under our feet, happy just to be near enough to hear us ask and answer over and over, as we scratch a doggie belly, "Who's a good dog?"

Steve's dog Bruno has his own rhythms in the summertime. He's a burly fella, a two-toned aging American bulldog with a mind of his own and some definite ideas about how to manage this heat. He will ask Steve to go out, and once on the sidewalk, take a few moments to gauge the temperature, If it is Too Hot, he will take care of his doggie business and immediately return to the door to go back inside. If instead he deems the heat reasonable, he will allow a trip to Edgewater Beach or Lakewood Park. Sometimes he miscalculates, and decides midway through the walk that it would be madness to continue in such weather, at which point he simply goes on strike -- refusing to budge, a stately old bulldog firmly planted in place until he recovers himself enough to continue.

We were lucky enough to have outdoor summer sessions with some wonderfully happy and relaxed dogs recently -- the spry and downright goofy labradoodle puppy Ori, who frolicked  around his backyard as only a puppy can do, and our more stately doggie friends, Rolf and Bruce, who posed with relaxed dignity in their urban courtyard.

What is your summer routine with your dog? Whatever it is, enjoy it thoroughly. We have only so many of these wonderful weeks left. (And you might want to book a photo session to capture it. Just sayin').