Roo and I had just left Los Angeles at the end of the summer of 2012. The plan was to move to Vermont, so we started driving for the lower left corner of the country to the upper right.
On the way, the temperatures were over 110 degrees in the desert. The pavement was too hot for a dog’s paws so Roo could only get out in unpaved areas. By the time we climbed into the Rockies in Colorado it started to cool down. I had driven this route along Interstate 70 several times with Orville. To help her overcome any diminished sense of identity by placing her in continuity with the past, I tell Roo that Orville was her great-granduncle, and near Glenwood Springs I remembered that I used to pull off and let him swim in the Colorado River. Though it had been more than 15 years, I found the exact spot Orville enjoyed.
And so it was in the great Colorado, in the Rocky Mountains, not far from the place where Doc Holliday finally wheezed his last from the tuberculosis that did what the Clancy boys couldn’t and finished him off, that Roo had the first of her thousands of swims in wild waters. Since then, days without water have been a rarity for Roo. She may be the most well-swimmed dog in the world. The sheer number and variety of bodies of water that she has been in would be hard for any other dog to match.
Meanwhile, we are parked in the woods of western Maryland, trying to find a place to live. It is proving to be extremely difficult because of the one key limitation I must have: that of all the potential types of available swimming for Roo, the one there absolutely can not be is a tadmouse pond. Anything less than 50 miles would be too short a distance to risk. Another round of Tadmouse Derangement Syndrome would be more than I might be able to take.