Today in Chicago it was mainly grey and chilly outside. But on Monday, September 29th, we enjoyed sunshine and warmth - it was nearly 80 degrees out which was nearly perfect weather for a birthday celebration. It was our dear friend and neighbor, Barbara’s, birthday and her wish was to spend a fun filled day with the puppies off-leash at the Prairie Wolf Dog Exercise Area. We loaded up Subi Subi Su and headed out…
Trond was in the way back seat. Gracie cuddled up to Barbara and sweet little Lucky kinda tucked his way in between Barbara’s lap and the back of my seat. Poor guy - he still isn’t too used to riding in a car. Little did he know what big surprise was in store for him and his four-legged friends (and human friends)!
This was the best shot I could get of Lucky in the car. We drove out to Prairie Wolf Exercise Area as quickly yet safely as we could so we could all run around and enjoy the sunshine. We got out of the car, went through the two gates of the park and then unleashed the hounds! As you can see, they had no qualms running off together!
Thankfully, even though the three of them had never been off-leash all together, they were great at listening to us and returning when we called them. Prairie Wolf Dog Exercise Area is this huge acreage that is fenced in so it is completely safe for dogs to be off leash, they can run for miles but not run away. We called them to follow us to the water. On the way to the water, Trond found a very fun mud pit.
Good thing we were heading towards the water so we could wash the grey sludgy mud off of our sleek black hund!
While we brought tennis balls out to the park with us, we left them in the car because… well, I don’t know. But, usually this is not a problem because there are normally quite a few stray tennis balls throughout the area… except for Monday. We did not see any! So, our first stop to the water was not as long as I thought it would be. There was nothing for the dogs to fetch and retrieve so we decided to keep walking down the trail to see if we could find anything to play with…
The boys were happy to tromp off together, while sweet Gracie always kept an eye on both of them. But she would go off and explore on her own, as well.
All of us girls know how to have fun.
It is nearly impossible NOT to have fun when it is this gorgeous everywhere you look!
Speaking of gorgeous! Our gorgeous girl Gracie had the right idea - as pretty as it was outside, it was pretty hot outside. We headed back towards the water to a different beach and Gracie walked right in and plopped right down to cool off her sweet self.
Pretty soon, the Best Bros. had to see what Gracie was up to. They liked her idea of being in the water. They LOVED the idea of Barbara throwing the ‘new’ tennis ball we found out into it!
Look at these lovable ding-dongs; with their long pink tongues hanging out of their excited mouths, patiently awaiting the big throw!
Now, it is no secret that Captain Trond Kildahl Ryder is a water hund. That dog loves to splish and splash around. But he seldom gets to do this with other dogs. Now, in the nearly two years that Barbara has had Lucky, he has never been swimming, so we did not know how Lucky would respond to the water. Well - he had no issue whatsoever swimming in after his Best Bro. Trond was out of his hund mind that not only did he get to swim with another dog but his BEST BRO, NO LESS!!!! IT WAS AMAZING!!!! They could have done this all day!
Both Barbara and Tim have way better throwing arms than me so they were chucking those tennis balls way out in the water and both boys were more than happy to swim out there and race to see who caught it and brought it back fastest. Look how far out they were!
I love how annoyed Gracie can get with these silly boys but, boy, does she love them. Look at her watch them to make sure they both return safely to shore. No way was she going to swim out there but no way would she let anyone not come back.
Yeah - at some point, we were given another ball so we had two balls to throw out for the two Best Bros to catch. I think the happiest part of the day was watching how very much sweet little Lucky absolutely loved being out in the water.
That was the best gift anyone could give, the happiness that this sweet guy had in the water. If you want to see joy personified (or canine-ified, to be more accurate…) watch this little blondie splash and retrieve for the first time. What a sweetie! It looks like he is smiling behind that ball!
As fun as the water was the second time, we still had a huge part of the park to explore. So we all rambled on.
We were able to convince Trond to stop for a just a few minutes to cool off and take some family photos. It did not last too long, though - because he. had. to. keep. exploring!!!!
We did go through some wooded paths into a huge green grass filled open field. There were five other dogs playing in this huge field. There were also two ladies enjoying a lovely picnic at a picnic table under a tree. Three guesses where our hund bolted towards. YUP - the picnic table. He tried to eat everything they had. We had to pull him off the table a few times so I had my hands full and was unable to take any pictures of that area. We finally persuaded him to leave and check out another area of the park.
We were all getting hot and though maybe we should head towards the car. But, unbeknownst to us, we were close to the mud pit again. Both Trond AND Lucky took a dip in the mud pit so…
back to the first beach to rinse off. Can you see Lucky’s mud boots?
They rinsed off. We walked back on the path towards the entrance of the dog park.
The thing was, was that we would have to walk by the mud pit again on the way back. There was no way to avoid it. How would we distract ol’ Steeltrap Trond and Follow Along Lucky from remembering that the mud pit was there, going though it again, and having to go back to wash off only to repeat the process?
That Barbara - she’s not just a pretty face. She has a smart brain and a giving heart, as well. Unbeknownst to the pups, she had brought these dog treats in! Leave it to Barbara to bring treats for the dogs on her own birthday! She showed them these delicious goodies…
Funny how they completely forgot about the existence of the amazing mud pit when a delicious distraction happens. All eyes were on the hands holding the canine cookies.
They hungry hounds enjoyed their cookies by the fountain so they could get a drink of water after eating and playing in the heat.
But after a few hours of running, exploring, mudding, swimming, fetching, sniffing, walking, and playing in the sun - it was time to put the leashes back on and head to the car to return to the city.
Hope you had as much fun as Tim, Trond and I did, Lucky, Gracie and Barbara! Happy Birthday, friend! We are so very glad you were born!