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Local Editorials

Dog days of summer

Kinnick Pelzer, age 4 (28 in dog years), is shown basking in the sun on an inflatable raft at her home on Sunday.
Kinnick Pelzer, age 4 (28 in dog years), is shown basking in the sun on an inflatable raft at her home on Sunday.

This time of year the piercing sound of the cicadas in our ears acts as nature’s not-so-subtle reminder that the season will soon change. It’s a soundtrack to summer’s end — and a playlist I’m not particularly fond of.

Such was the case Sunday when I desperately longed to quiet the noise as I worshipped the sun in the pool, a lifelong favorite pastime of mine. (Yes, mom, I’m armored with SPF30).

As I fought the battle between relaxing and entertaining my 8-year-old son, he came up with a great idea — let’s get the dog in the pool.

Most folks have a dog for companionship. My relationship with my dog, a German Shorthair named Kinnick, is based more on entertainment value, although she is a great buddy too.

There was a point in our relationship that I just thought she was little too much work. Most puppies are.

She’s a big fan of my husband, and when she was younger she would act out when he traveled for work. She ate everything from extension cords to woodwork to her very own kennel. I’d often come home from work to discover a disaster. (Sidebar: If your dog ingests wire, such as an extension cord, you have to feed her tuna-soaked cotton balls so it doesn’t do any harm in passing. Seriously. I’m not making this up.)  

So while I thought our pup was kind of cute, I also thought she was a giant pain in the rear.

Then something happened around her second birthday. By that time she had less of the puppy behavior  … and she didn’t mind when I put a party hat on her to commemorate her second year in the family.

Thus began the tradition of me dressing up my dog.

All of those sweaters, costumes and other dog attire you see in the store and shake your head at — yea, I’m the one that buys that stuff.

As for Kinnick — she loves it. I will stand by that statement until the end of time, despite the many, many friends that have suggested I’m torturing her.

It’s my belief that she enjoys the attention she receives from the extra time I spend with her, to the inevitable photo shoot. Besides, getting dressed up makes any gal feel good.

I’m almost always on the lookout to get a laugh out of our pet, so the swimming idea was one of pure brilliance.

Of course, it didn’t go as smoothly as I anticipated. It was a three-man job to coax her into the pool and it took a raft to convince her to stay. I wouldn’t necessarily describe her as fond of the water.

To watch her doggy paddle was hilarious. To observe a dog straddling an inflatable raft was even funnier.

Again, I think it was the attention she enjoyed the most, although by the end of her first lesson she seemed a bit more comfortable in the water.

By the end of the ordeal I realized I was enjoying some of the final summer moments of the season before they slipped away. Then I realized some of my favorite seasons lie ahead.

Honestly, I’m rather excited about the Ghostbusters costume I found for my dog. And this has to be the ideal time of year to snatch up a dog bikini on clearance.

Contact Editor Abigail Pelzer at (641) 792-3121 Ext. 6530 or

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