We were camping alone a river, or maybe it was a stream or a creek. I’ve been unclear on the difference for years. Anyway, we were camping on the bank of a flowing body of water.
Of course, Jerico had his ball. The Man had been tossing it in the direction opposite from the water. The highway was opposite the water, but our campsite was below the road, and there was a driveway area serving as a barrier too. The Man was being careful where he tossed the ball in order to keep Jerico safely in camp.
After he chased and retrieved the ball for a while, Jerico got tired and decided to take a rest on the ground between where The Man and I were sitting. He dropped the ball on the ground there too.
Jerico rested for a while, then got up again and started exploring our campsite. Sometimes when we are out in nature, Jerico can forget about the ball for a while and do regular dog things like sniffing rocks and grass and peeing on trees.
I got up from my chair and went into the van to dig my camera out of my bag. Camera in hand, I walked along the edge of the water, taking photos for future blog posts. As I walked around, I noticed Jerico’s ball was no longer on the ground between the chairs. I figured he had it in his mouth at the moment since sometimes he carries it as he runs around.
I looked over and saw Jerico standing in high green grass at the edge of the water where it makes a turn as it rushes on. The river was still really high from winter snowmelt and spring rain, and it was moving fast. I wouldn’t have felt safe wading out to the middle. Jerico was standing on the edge, looking towards where the water disappeared around the bend. He had a look of concern on his face and no ball in his mouth.
I quickly scanned the area where I’d last seen the ball. Nothing. I looked on the ground all around the camping area. No ball.
I looked over at Jerico. He was looking at me. He glanced back at the water rushing by. He still looked concerned. He also seemed about ready to spring into the current.
I understood in a flash of insight. Jerico had brought the ball over to the water. For some reason only he will ever know (or maybe by accident), he dropped the ball in and watched it float away. Now he was about to jump in after it!
Jerico! No! I called sternly. He looked at me, then back at the water.
I knew if he jumped in, at best we’d have to deal with a cold, wet dog. At worst…well, I didn’t even want to think about it.
Without taking my eyes off the dog, I explained to The Man what I thought had happened. He dropped the ball in the river, I said. He’s about to jump in after it.
Jerico! Come here! The Man commanded.
Jerico looked at The Man, then back at the water. He stared at the water longingly, then slunk over to where The Man and I were.
I thought maybe I was wrong about the ball floating away and maybe it would turn up, but it didn’t. I searched under the bed, hoping a ball had rolled among the plastic tubs and tool boxes stored there, but I didn’t find one. Jerico had to spend the next couple days being a regular dog and not a ball fiend, although he did bring out his stuffed monkey, and we did toss that around a bit for him. I felt a little sorry for him, but the silence of him not bossy barking to get us to throw the ball was a relief. Besides, I didn’t drop the ball in the river; that mistake was on him.
I took the photos in this post.