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The intermittent winter rain has left large puddles at the dog park, which Bowdu adroitly avoids…

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Photo taken 31 December 2010

Bowpi is also careful to avoid splashing through the mud, even in the midst of a chase.

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She appeared puzzled that some dogs would choose to lie in the middle of such filth — ON PURPOSE, even!

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Bowdu also thought this was not right, so he came over to boss around the doofy Labrador.

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At this point, he started growling/vocalizing at the Lab. It wasn’t an “attack” growl by any means. It was one of his low, communicative arrrrarRUUruus that lots of other dog owners often misinterpret as aggression. I’d agree that he’s being offensive, maybe the equivalent of another driver leaning out his window to tell you your music sucks or you’re driving like a granny. But he was “just” being a jerk, and not a violent psycho who’s likely to explode in a figurative fit of road rage.

Bowpi was acting as the rubbernecking sidekick, completely harmless though somewhat in the way.

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Note that both Shiba and Basenji avoided stepping directly into the puddle. Bowdu got in there a bit, but mostly he’s leaning in (like Bowpi) to get his message across. In fact, their feet didn’t even need to be wiped off when it was time to return to the car.

The man with the Chuck-It thought Bowdu was being rude, and told him to knock it off. He didn’t appreciate that Bowdu was trying to lecture his oafish Lab on the error of his ways, and how totally inappropriate it is to muck around in rain puddles when cleanliness is so much more dignified.

Bowpi’s attention was diverted to the angry yelly man. This is why I say she’s not really that shy. Even when strangers aren’t super friendly, she’s still bold enough to check them out, though sneakily and preferably on her own terms.

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As soon as the Labrador acknowledged the know-it-all Shiba’s advice and stepped away from the puddle, Bowdu came bounding back, mission accomplished. Chuck-It Man glared at me some more while Bowpi chased his dirty, drippy ol’ Lab, quickly overtaking him and looping back up the hill towards me.

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I’m so glad that Shiba Inu and Basenji are dogs that usually take pride in their cleanliness.

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