It is a bit odd finding yourself in the Keys during a holiday when everyone around you has time off and you are just living the usual routine. The worst parts involve too much traffic which is normal in summer during national days off, but then also WiFi inexplicably slows down and all those usually empty houses suddenly fill up and urchins are suddenly throwing a ball around on my normally silent as the grave suburban street. Rusty and I took off for a little while to get away from it all.
Rusty doesn't handle thunderstorms too well. He has got over his fear of rain which must have been a dreadful burden when he was living on the streets, but the clap of thunder strikes terror in him. That and fireworks are enough to send him into a panic. Thee again his fear is reasonable enough considering he watched his whole pack get shot or poisoned by the rather callous farmers of the Redlands of Homestead who take out their frustration on people dumping dogs by pursuing and shooting the strays. I look at Rusty and wonder at the horrors he has seen, and then I wonder how even keeled he is after all that.
The good news is that when he hears those noises he runs too me and not away so that's a good thing. With my wife out of town for two weeks visiting friends in California and his usual house sitters,both sets of them also out of town I was stumped as to what to do with him the night of the Fourth, firework night. So I got permission to bring him to work ad then I had to figure how to get him out of the house as the neighborhood erupted into loud bangs and cracks as everyone got busy exploding gunpowder.
Much to my surprise he meekly got up and followed me as I made my way out of the house and followed him downstairs. He jumped in the car and lay flat on the back seat. I guess he really does trust me. At the police station he pawed at the door to be let in and flew upstairs to dispatch where he said hello to everyone and then settled on the floor in the most soundproof room in the city. He snored the night away in his bed, no trouble at all. Usually he is fine staying home alone all night but with no one to look after him I couldn't figure out what else to do. Thank god for another little bit of help at work.
With my wife away I get some quality time with Rusty. At least that's what I tell myself as I dust and vacuum and do the laundry. Life goes on pretty much the same but he is always glad to see her when she gets back. I am surprised by how even tempered he is but I guess anything is better than his previous life. And he does enjoy being free to come and go as he pleases.
Afternoons are good for a swim on these boiling hot one hundred degree afternoons. I find the warm canal waters delightful though some heathens say they prefer cooler waters. When my legs were weaker I devised an angled approach into the water by buying a twenty foot ladder at ACE Hardware in Summerland and dropping it at an angle into the canal. Brilliant! I like using it so much more than the vertical, barnacle encrusted steps of the permanent vertical dock ladder that I shall continue to use my garden ladder, pulling it out between swims to keep sea growth away.
Swimming does an amazing job of limbering up my formerly broken knee and reducing the pain in my pelvis and thighs. My wife is an inveterate swimmer but I find I have a strong incentive to get in the water now and do my leg exercises even though she is away for two weeks.
And then of course as the sun sets and temperatures drop Rusty and I head out for another walk along shady trails where he won't burn his paws. He was tired on the way back and I stood next to him as he sank down into the grass half way back to the car. I was dripping sweat but even after an hour my legs weren't hurting hardly at all. These exceptionally hot days are taking it out of all of us.