Swamp Monsters

It’s been raining forever.

Over 200 days say the reports.  So many, who’s keeping count?

Every day brings grey and dreary even into the springtime.  Temps never quite getting over 60 – mostly hovering in the mid-50s.

There have been a couple days of sunshine — just enough to have one cringing at the sight of pasty white skin.

If one had waited for a nice day to take the dogs out, the poor pups would never have gotten out (except on those aforementioned couple of days).

Not an option. 

So, every day it’s don the raingear, boots, hat, and sometimes even gloves.

The dogs don’t seem to mind.  Or at least they don’t complain.

I’m not really complaining either.  It’s enjoyable to go out with the dogs and not have to worry about hordes of people.  They can for the most part run free without upsetting anyone.

They’re really good though - staying with me and not getting into much trouble.

That is, except for the mud holes.  What is it about mud?

Water is everywhere so it’s hard to avoid.  The sandy river beaches are non-existent from the record rainfall.  Many trails are impassable with small lakes in the middle of them.

The trails we are able to maneuver have water holes on either side.

The dogs find them and dive in.  Sloshing, splashing and wallowing around.  Even swimming in the deeper ones.  Looks of pure joy on their faces.

By the time we get back to the car, they’re a soaking, smelly mess. 

Inside the car, it smells like a dank, soggy swamp.  Eau d’ wet dog.  Not gag-worthy, but not pleasant. 

The car is a disaster but I long ago gave up on its condition.  It’s a losing battle with wet swamp monsters.

Occasionally I wipe clean all the windows – of nose art, slobber and mud from rousing shake-offs and noses pressed on the glass.  I mainly do this for safety – so I can see to drive.

Still, a losing battle.  A few days after wiping clean, the slobbery nose art and mud smears are back.

From the looks of the extended forecast, there are nicer days ahead. Quite a ways ahead.

When those warmer days do hit and the water dries up, the swamp monsters will go into hiding.  It will be hot and sticky and people will come out in droves, making it hard for the dogs to run so fancy-free.  They will seek out remembered water holes but they’ll be gone.

All the car windows will be down, the breeze flapping the dogs’ ears.  The nose art will exist — it’s not weather dependent.  The slobber too.  Only thing missing will be mud, water and the smell of swamp monsters.

We will go out early to try to avoid the hordes and heat of the day.  Enjoying the summertime as much as we can for however long it lasts.

Then, in no time at all, the rain and grey skies will be back.  Along with the furry swamp monsters - coming out of hiding. 


Vonnie Harris is a freelance writer, and operator of Pet Stop Pit Stop pet sitting services in SW Washington.  She resides in Vancouver with Jessie (a yellow Lab), Pedro & Lorali (parrots), and some chicken friends. Vonnie is “the face of Spot” at many Portland-area pet-related events, and the voice of Spot in social media outlets.