John Eggers: Simon’s summer vacation report
If I were in school and if the teacher had me write about what I did on my summer vacation, this is what I would write. Let me tell you what a very good summer vacation is for a golden retriever. My name is Simon and I live with my daughter, Simo...
If I were in school and if the teacher had me write about what I did on my summer vacation, this is what I would write.
Let me tell you what a very good summer vacation is for a golden retriever. My name is Simon and I live with my daughter, Simone, on the shores of Lake Julia. John and Kathy take care of us. Actually, we take care of them but don’t tell them I said that.
A great summer means swimming, taking hikes, being around lots of people and eating good food. Simone and I had all of that plus chewing on lots of sticks, chasing chipmunks and taking an occasional pontoon boat ride. Our summer vacation couldn’t have been better. There was even a time when I got to eat ice cream everyday for a whole month. I will tell you about that later.
Oh, there were times when John and Kathy went someplace and Simone and I were left alone. That’s not so much fun. Happiness to dogs is when your owners come home and you get to jump and lick their faces.
I don’t jump too much anymore but Simone still has her puppy instinct in her and loves to jump and lick. I wish I had a dog biscuit for every time John or Kathy said, “Go away, Simone, go away.” I guess I need to do a better job of teaching her but I like to see Simone happy and it’s fun to test the patience of John and Kathy.
It seems like there wasn’t a day when Simone and I didn’t take a swim. Simone likes the water even more than I do. She would leisurely swim way out past the dock, go this way and that way, and return to shore. When we are both totally wet we like to roll in the grass and then chase each other.
What I don’t quite understand is when Simone and I would go swimming in the evening; John would then put us in the basement. He called this “detention”. I think it has something to do with being all wet and smelling like the lake.
One of the highlights of the summer is when my son, Drake, who is blind, would visit us. For the first time his owners, Caroline and Shawn, took him in the water and he loved it. We were all swimming around like one big happy family. I was one proud dad.
One of the things that Simone and I love to do is sit on the dock and watch John fish. It really is exciting. John will catch a fish and let it flop on the dock for a few minutes before it falls into the lake. We smell it and try to pick it up. Before long it will fall back into the lake. Where does it go?
One time John threw a fish into the lake from the dock and I went in to look for it. That’s what retrievers do-they retrieve things. I swam around looking for it but I couldn’t find that fish anywhere. I hope the word doesn’t spread that I’m not able to find things. That’s a retriever’s worst nightmare.
John would take us on long walks almost every day. We would jump into the back of his car and when he stopped by a big open field or woods we would jump out of the car, run ahead and return to him and jump some more. We just wanted to show John how happy we were to take the long walks. We would get very tired and sleep on the way home while John whispered, “A good retriever is a tired retriever.”
One time I took my big soccer ball along and carried it during the entire walk. I had to drop it from time to time because my neck got tired and I had a hard time breathing with that big ball in my mouth. If I dropped it and started walking away without it, John would say, “Simon, get your ball” and I would run back and get it.
The best part about taking walks was finding tall grass to roll in or finding some interesting smells to investigate or finding a big stick to carry. Walks are our most favorite things to do - well, maybe next to swimming.
When the ticks were out early in the summer I began to feel real lazy and tired and my walking was not so good. John and Kathy took me to the doctor and he said I had Lyme disease. He gave me some medicine to take and within a few days, I was feeling my old self again.
The best and worst part about being sick was that I had to take these huge pills. That was bad. What was good though was that John would “hide” the pills in ice cream. Because I had ice cream, Simone also had to have some. We did this every day for a month. We were two very lucky dogs.
John and Kathy had a big party this summer with lots of people. Simone and I are people dogs and nothing makes us happier than having a lot of people around. If everyone in the world got as much attention as we did, the world would be a much happier place to live.
With the days getting shorter and cooler, Simone and I are beginning to look forward to fall and then, our favorite, season, winter. I am already dreaming about walking on the ice and rolling in the snow.
A good summer vacation is one that leaves you looking forward to something even more special.
John R. Eggers of Bemidji is a former university professor and area principal. He also is a writer and public speaker.