The imp loved a good game of you can’t catch me, except she possessed no sense of timing.  With a mix of reluctance, annoyance, and ‘can you believe this’, I trod off after her.

The noontime scamper started with an innocuous decision in the middle of an altered workday.  Faced with the dilemma of pairing a nosy, people-loving dog with the installers (a close friend) of ceramic tile through two thirds of our downstairs, I decided Logan, four-year-old half Black Lab, half Newfoundland, earned an impromptu take your dog to work day.

Suited businesswear covered my bod, light wool, perfect for the first day of May.  My appointment schedule ran across the central part of the state on into Vermont, three in all, the first stop around nine in the morning.

Stop two cancelled during stop one, leaving me with a window of noontime transiting open time.  What to do?  Camp lurked some forty-five minutes away, a place where Logan could run free whilst I laptopped paperwork.

We drove to Vermont, uphill over two miles of dirt road, off onto a rougher drive, opened the barbed wire fence gate, and drove up the meandering path into the patch of small field well hidden from the dirt road.

Out went Logan.  If a dog can say ‘yahoo’, she did on exit, I just don’t do well with foreign languages.  While she scampered about, I did the work thing.  Not armed with a key to camp, I worked in my 4Runner, enjoying the nice weather.

Ninety minutes later, we needed to leave in order to make my final appointment of the day.  “Logan, come!”  I called, because she understood foreign languages.  “Logan!”

She dutifully trotted up the winding drive, over the hump and towards, curious over what I could possibly want.  Somewhere around eighty feet out, her percussive effluvium wave shocked my nostrils into heavy repugnance.  Oh no, Logan found her parfum aromatique, and wore it proud.

I’d rather a skunk approached.  Logan found some vile pile of rancid animal excrement.  Well-knowing the ways of my wonderful bowserino, she fell upon it as if it were a five pound tenderloin, except instead of teeth sinking into a steak, her body rolled across the mountain muffin as if she rolled out pie dough, embedding it deep into her black fur.

She closed in on me, the stench increasing exponentially, inverse square wave rule run backwards, my stomach sinking, its contents rising.  We needed to leave, but how could I put Ms Cow Pie in my vehicle?  What in hell could I do?  Only one option, clean her.

The last brook ice of spring melted a week or so before; camp nested high in the Vermont Hills after all.  The water running in the adjacent brook would benumb a moose, and without a key, I couldn’t access towels or clothing in camp.

Off came my suit.  My shirt.  My underwear.  Naked.  Oh, Logan…believe me, you won’t like it, either.

I tried for her collar; sprint away, game time, chase me.  No, no, no.  Not now, Logan; please, no games.  Unfortunately, she didn’t buy my reasoning, and refused to allow me in range to snag her.  Without a stitch of clothing on my bod, I chased my dog around the field.  Thank goodness, trees blocked the view from the road, and thank goodness, the road ran through wilderness.

It took five or ten minutes, but I snagged her, brought her unwilling into the stream, and scrubbed her with my bare hands, my feet and legs immediately ached from the frigid water.  It forced me to back out to ease the pain, step back in for a couple of minutes, wash more, back out, easing my body into acceptance of cold water.

The scrubbing and rinsing done, I let her go, off into a wild sprint around the property, her way of drying off, when all I had was drip dry and a stand under the overhead sun.

When we arrived at my last appointment forty-five minutes late, the client laughed for ten minutes at my crazy dog story.  Twenty-one years later, it still brings a smile to my face.  Imagine if someone drove in right then and saw a naked person chasing a dog…