Monday Park Report

We just got back from a seriously uncomfortable trip to the park.

I complain a lot about our summer weather. Truth is, I’m not very good in the heat, even though I grew up in a warm climate. I sunburn easily, and I quickly overheat and start to feel nauseous. Silas isn’t a lot better. The trick is, supposedly, to get outside every day in the spring, so that your body can adjust to the heat as it gradually warms up. Well, this year summer flipped on like a switch, and it happened while I had the flu.

It’s very easy to stay inside all summer. Silas really doesn’t mind. One outing a week is fine by him, as long as we’re playing indoor games. The downside of that is that he needs exposure to people and moving objects and other animals, otherwise his anxiety levels start to go back up. After living like a hermit for a few weeks, he is very sensitive to anything “unusual,” which is basically everything.

Today I thought, “Well, I’ll just put on my big girl pants, and we’ll go out first thing.” Except after a month of not using Silas’s big park bag (the one that holds water for both of us, which I have to carry if we’re going to be out more than half an hour. Otherwise I carry a small bag with just water for him.) its contents were all over the house. Then I wanted to go to the park that was the furthest away. It was, all told, a little before 10:00 when we hit the trail, and about 11:00 when we got back to the car. Now I know that this is too late. It wasn’t even that hot. 88, with 68% humidity, but the sun was just brutal for that last half hour.

On the plus side: Silas got over his fear of the park bridges. He was always fine with them, and then I made the mistake of stepping on a loose expansion plate one day. Ka-Pow! And then he was afraid to cross them. A little time away and he’s forgotten about it. He did bark at some pedestrians, but not too much.

The far away park, with it’s longer walks and less shade, is probably getting dropped off our repertoire for the next few months, though.

8 thoughts on “Monday Park Report

  1. If you ever want to move, we’d welcome you to the Finger Lakes. 🙂 Today it’s a bit chilly (in the 60s) and raining. But normal summer temps are in the 70s with low humidity.

    I can’t relate. I love the heat, hate air conditioning, and don’t mind humidity too much.

    But my mom feels about heat the way you do. When she has to go out in the heat, she wears a contraption around her neck that’s filled with ice cubes. It keeps her cool.

    Maybe you and Silas need to invest in a couple of cooling vests. Good luck keeping your outside walks going during the summer heat.


    1. I’ve thought about the cooling vest for Silas. I wonder if they would really work here, though–our air is pretty saturated in the summer, and I think they work mostly through evaporation. I’ll have to look into it.


  2. I can relate. I don’t like heat or humidity. But then I don’t like cold either. Come to northern CA, it’s perfect!


    1. The one time I was in northern CA (in July) I almost froze to death. 55 degrees! I was used to 100 before I got there. I don’t think I unzipped my jacket for a week.


  3. True story: Hurley is worthless when it’s over 70 degrees. He’ll pant for 3 hours after 15 minutes playing in the backyard or a 10 minute walk. I took him to the river the other day and after 30 minutes, he was cashed out. I can’t imagine what he’d be like in a climate that regularly exceeded 80. Luckily, we’re usually smack dab in the middle of the 70s for most of the summer here in Portland. And no humidity to speak of.


    1. Silas is good up to about 80, unless the sun is shining. At 85 and up, he will start pulling me back to the car in ten minutes, even with shade.

      I have to be really careful with him, though, because he gets so set on “his route” through the park. In places where he’s worked through his anxiety by picking THE ONE TRUE WAY, he will really overheat. He just can’t understand how to take a short cut or turn around.


  4. The summer heat is a killer for us too…Neither Gizmo nor I enjoy the heat so our walks are done very early and our trail adventures are much shorter these days


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