Wet Dogs

What are you thinking, wearing those cutesy little boots? There's deep snow out there. You can't go for a winter walk in the woods of Superior, Wisconsin in those things! All the snow will slide down your ankles and melt at your feet!

Are those cotton socks? Oh boy, are you ever in trouble. Did you think we were just going for a quick one-mile loop along a cross-country ski trail? Jeez. You don't know me very well, do you?

Let's walk across the bay and visit that island before they turn it into a golf course. What do you mean the ice isn't safe? There's a guy driving his Chevy Suburban on it. You weigh 96 pounds.

OK, fine. We'll turn around. Your feet must be really cold. We need to get you out of those wet socks. Tell you what, since my feet are perfectly dry, why don't I let you wear my wool socks?

No, I'll be fine. My boots have a nice lining and it's not too cold out. It's going to take us a while to get back to the car, and I think we'll both be more comfortable if you have dry feet. Here's a tree stump we can sit on.

See? Look how wet your socks are! Here, put these on. Hey, look at that little doggie. He's coming straight for us, and he sure looks excited. Holy moly, look at all the mud on his paws. Watch out for your white pants!

I'm sorry. I know it's not funny. Well, I don't know why he won't stop jumping on you. Maybe you should throw a stick or something. Careful now, don't put your bare foot down in the ... never mind.

I know, I know. It's not funny. That little mutt just won't leave you alone will he? I think that guy over there is the owner; maybe he'll ... DON'T THROW YOUR BOOT AT THE DOG! Oh, boy. Now you've done it.

Don't cry. I'm sure the dog will come back with your boot. I'll go see if that guy's the owner. You just sit on the stump for a minute. Everything will be fine. I'm sure the mud will come out of your pants.

Paul Lundgren is a newspaper columnist and a very nice man. He dedicates this story to Renee for her 30th birthday and congratulates her on becoming a little more assimilated to the outdoors over the years.