Not fun in the summertime

When you’re an almost-10-month-old, 80-pound-or-so, long-haired, mostly black German Shepherd, 100+-degree days are no fun. It’s too hot to go walking with Mom and Dad and too hot to play in the backyard.

Zuzu’s been really bored in this heat, miserable, panting and desperate for fun. Tess, the thin blonde that she is, will occasionally go sunbathe in the backyard. Zuzu gets as close to the air conditioner as she can. She does play with balls and other toys in the house, but that’s not really enough to let off the steam a giant puppy builds up quickly.

Consequently, Zuzu’s done a couple of big naughties lately. For one thing, she recently got John’s embarrassingly expensive glasses off the TV tray where he left them after the second WWC game, exactly eye-level for Zu. I found them the next day on the floor by the living room dog throne, and they didn’t look too good.

When John tried them on, they sat diagonally across his face – he looked like a “No” sign, minus the red – before breaking apart. His replacement glasses are a $100 pair from Success Vision; no need to invest in another good pair until puppyhood is over. (In Zuzu’s defense, Tess ate lots of cheap reading glasses I left around the house when she was young. It’s a common phenomenon.) Plus he had to get them quickly so he could watch the Women’s World Cup Final.

Last night I came in from having dinner with Rhonda. John was in the shower, but Zuzu and Tess gave me their typical exuberant greetings. Zuzu, in particular, acted like I’d returned from the land of the lost. After soothing her and petting Tess, I noticed a muddy planter in the living room surrounded by quite a mess. When I saw that the flimsy store planter said “Gardenia” on it,  I knew what she’d done and ran out back to find the destruction. In the almost dark, I had no luck. John said he’d looked everywhere for the plant earlier in the evening to see if he could save it, but Zuzu had hidden it well.

Sometime in the night, Zuzu slipped out the doggie door, retrieved the gardenia from its hiding place and brought it in the living room where she must have shaken it as hard as she could for quite a while. We had dirt on top of furniture all over the room, but mostly it looked like it had snowed potting soil on our antique Turkish rug. At least it was very dry dirt.

Luckily for the dogs, they have old parents who think most things they do are cute. John  started vacuuming while I got the dirt off the furniture and out of the other rooms. Zuzu had her usual battle with the vacuum, which is always exciting for her – she literally lifts it off the ground with her teeth then jumps back and growls. And barks and barks and barks. But by mid morning, she was flat on the floor and pitiful again.

Who can stay mad at that face?

This afternoon, though, Dad had a great idea! He got out Jude’s old wading pool and filled it with tepid water, and big little Zuzu was in splash heaven for a while. I looked out the window to see her spinning in circles in the little pool and ran for the camera, but as she’s still freaky about having her picture taken, it took quite a while to get anything shot.

Ooh, that feels good.

At least on the hottest day on record in Little Rock, (global warming, people. It’s real. It’s really real.), Zuzu got a cool treat. We all need one; if this heat doesn’t break soon, well, just fill in your own images or metaphors.

The local weather service’s announcement on KUAR of 118 degrees* being the hottest day ever isn’t an interesting fact. It’s downright spooky.

*The  National Weather service announced the high as 114 at 2:40 p.m. in Little Rock, but a sign in NLR reported 119 degrees at 3:30.

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