When I first started my blog, I introduced my kids, grandkids, and grand-dogs. Since then, I’ve acquired an additional grand-dog and now the dogs outnumber the kids 4-2. My only local grand-dog is Maggie, so I see her a lot more than the others. She’s been in the ‘burg for about 4 years now and is becoming a fixture around town. That’s because her human, my son, lives near the Hollander, commutes solely by bicycle and indulges her with near-daily rides (in her own trailer!) to Vinoy or North Shore park to see ‘her dolphins’.
Anybody who has and loves dogs has experienced that scenario where they wonder what their dog is thinking. For me, that’s especially true when Maggie is careening along the seawall when the dolphins are sluicing through the water chasing fish directly beneath her. Does she think she’s one of them? Are her shrill barks just saying “Hi”? Does she see them turning on their sides to make direct eye contact with her? And conversely, do the dolphins recognize Maggie? It’s often the same dolphins day-to-day made obvious by unique scars on their backs. Are they smiling at Maggie? — OR — Are they taunting her? The furious excitement of the dolphins’ presence have enticed Maggie to jump off the seawall more than once. This is not a casual situation; at low tide getting her out requires her human to jump into the water and swim with her several meters to the ‘beach’ at North Shore park.
On a recent day, Maggie couldn’t resist jumping in with her swimming, grinning friends. Her dad quickly ditched his phone, jumped in and cajoled her over to the beach. Yes, they reached it, but Maggie was diverted off course several times (apparently headed to Tampa!), and by the time they reached firm ground, both man and dog were completely spent. The Southeast Guide Dogs were hosting an event (the most ever bandana-clad dogs in one place) at the park and assisted the swimming duo by tossing them a floatable cooler top. The following day (with the event still in full swing), Maggie stopped by to ‘thank’ the crew for their rescue help, and received a bandana of her own that she proudly sported when they returned to the Vinoy to whisper to her dolphin friends yet another day. Stay tuned for more adventures of Maggie-the-dolphin-whisperer in future posts!