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She gulped down part of her soda as if trying to pre-hydrate herself before getting out of the car into the oven of a sun. Her black Lab and Great Dane mix paced in the back seat of her toy-sized car. She opened the door, talking to her baby, who was still pacing, telling him, “You’ve got to get water first.” She pulled the handle of the leash and untangled the cord of it from around his legs. Was he trying to jump rope with it?

He jumped out of the car, trying to run until she mashed down the button on the leash’s handle. He froze in place, looked back at her and waited, tongue hanging out, giddy with glee.

At the hose area, she sprayed him thoroughly with water until he was shaking it all out again, from the tip of his nose to the tip of his tail. She doused him again, turned off the spigot, and off they walked to the dog park. Well, he lurched until she caught up, he lurched again, she caught up, and so it went.

Two hours later, when she’d exhausted all energy throwing his ball, he running so fast that sometimes his “end” outran his head, and doing this 100+ times, she entertained the idea of collapsing on the couch upon returning home.

Fifteen mintues after tea had been drunk, her eyelids drooping, curled up on the couch, she felt something wet nudging her. Wagging his tail with a slop-covered toy in his mouth, he campaigned her off the couch to do it all over again.

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