A walk by the water with new friends

Last Saturday I had cause to go down to Portsmouth, a good hour away from home. We’d spent the majority of the previous day in the car, going for a visit to the (four rings of!) agility at a big dog show event in Springfield, Mass called the Thanksgiving Cluster. There’s breed classes, there’s obedience, there’s agility and there’s (probably) thousands of dogs. Even though we didn’t compete, we went to have a look ’round. An hour of that wore Chico right out.

Anyhow, back to the story I started with. Once I had done my business in Portsmouth, I took out my stupid-smartphone, and looked at the mapping, searching for a park near the water where we might be able to walk off leash. I hit the mark on the first try. Bellamy Preserve is an Audubon sanctuary right on the Bellamy River and I didn’t see any signs that said no dogs or dogs must be on leashes. Perfect.

So we headed into the woods, Chico leading.

So we headed into the woods, Chico leading.

The path follows the shoreline and it was quite lovely.

IMG_20131123_143833_733

Lots to sniff, some squirrels to chase, a dandy place for a walk.

Lots to sniff, some squirrels to chase, a dandy place for a walk.

Then Chico stopped and looked:

He's not looking forward anymore, he's looking back, past me, and his ears and expression say that he hears something.

He’s not looking forward anymore, he’s looking back, past me, and his ears, tail, and facial expression say that he hears something.

So he came back closer to me (it makes him braver):

But still looking with interest for something.

Still looking with interest for something.

The something turned out to be a nice dog named Ruby and her person, C. They walk here regularly and welcomed us to join them. C’s grandmother had donated the land to the Audubon Society, and C and Ruby live in a family house nearby – we couldn’t have found a better person to walk with. The humans had lively conversation and the dogs ran around, sometimes together, sometimes apart, always happy as could be. I had so much fun, I forgot to take a picture of the dogs together. Ooops. And it’s too bad because Ruby had the cutest spotted paws on her black body. My vote is that there’s some Border Collie in her, though the adoption agency called her a Lab/Boxer mix. But what do I know?

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