Woodlyn Physical Therapy August 2019





At the start of August, we find ourselves in the middle of the hottest weeks of the year — the so-called dog days of summer. I like to spend hot days out by our pool, joined by my dogs, Brice and Mookie. They’re both Chesapeake Bay retrievers, which means it’s impossible to keep them out of the water. These dogs are bred for hunting and retrieving ducks in icy Maryland waters, so swimming is in their blood. Both dogs love to play fetch and go after any balls I throw in the pool. Mookie will jump right into the water without a second thought. Brice is a bit prissier. She’ll walk around and take the stairs into the pool. Usually, while she’s walking to the stairs, Mookie has jumped in to steal her ball, too, which is a whole thing.

I didn’t have a lot of dogs in my childhood. My family got a dog when I was in eighth grade, but I didn’t have a dog that was fully mine until college. That’s when I got Trooper, a German shepherd. He was a great dog. I knew a guy who trained German shepherds, and we worked with him once a week. Trooper knew hand commands and was one of the smartest dogs I’ve ever met. Years later, after my wife and I were married, we wanted to get a dog together. At first, we were looking into getting a lab, but after doing some research, Mary Ann learned about Chessies. We loved how resilient they are in the cold and the different colors of their coats. Mary Ann reached out to a breeder and got a dog the kids named Bubba. We’ve had Chessies ever since. After Bubba, there was Buddy, and then six years ago, Brice came along. She was a Christmas present for my daughter, who was a freshman in high school at the time. Brice was my daughter’s first dog. That lasted for about two weeks, then she suddenly became my dog. We got Mookie about a year and a half ago. I’ve loved every Chessie we’ve had, but if I’m being honest, Mookie is my favorite.

will jump five feet into the air and dive into the pool to get his ball. But he’ll also stand at the edge of the pool and just bark at the ball like he expects it to jump into his mouth or something. Sometimes, I’ll try to wear the dogs out by playing fetch on our driveway, which is on a steep hill. Brice will go insane, fetching the ball 30 times without rest. Mookie will chase the ball a couple of times, then he’ll change his mind, take the ball to the top of the driveway, and let it roll down the hill to me. It’s a sight to see. Brice and Mookie can be a handful, but I’m glad to have them. There’s a reason dogs are called man’s best friend. It doesn’t matter how bad your day was; when you walk in the door and see a dog wagging their tail because they’re so excited to see you, all that frustration evaporates. Within five minutes, you have a dog in your lap, and life is good. During the dog days of summer, don’t forget to give your dogs an extra scratch behind the ears. They really deserve it.

1 -Jim Brennan

Mookie is full of crazy energy and has this big personality. He’s fearless and


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