The world according to Rico – How to beat the heat

Wow, I do not fancy this time of year.

This is my first summer, as I’m only a couple of months old, but I can already say with absolute certainty this will not be my favorite season.

As you might have noticed, being a Keeshond, I arrived in the world with my own permanent fur coat. The folks are well versed in the Keeshond world and know it’s best to not shave my coat down to nothing because I guess it actually works as a protective insulation even in the heat.

But man, during those really, really hot days we had recently, I just dreaded having to go outside even if meant high praise for not spraying down the living room floor. Gone was the sweet breeze in my face – it was replaced by a blast of blazing, blistery air like the aftermath of a nuclear bomb.

I have a plastic baby pool in the back yard, in the shade, but for some reason it scares me near to death. The folks say they can’t figure out why I’m so phobic when it comes to a blue plastic oval holding an inch or two of lukewarm water. Well, I say to the folks that if I have to hear one more annoying story about their fond memories of The Incredible Great-Uncle Bono “loving it so much” way back in the 1990s, I’m going to freak out. Enough already, no water aerobics for Rico, at least for this first summer.

All that said, I hate the heat of summer even if comes in tiny doses while hearing Mom beg, “Just hurry and go potty in the shade and you can have a treat.” Treat, schmeet . . . I didn’t care.

I was just over it.

Then I discovered the most wonderful place in our whole house, the whole world even. It’s about four feet from my water bowl, so I don’t know how I missed paradise all these months. But last week, as I was prancing into the kitchen to see what I was having for supper, I felt sublime cool air pumping from a strange grate in the baseboard. It stopped me immediately in my tracks.

I went over and sniffed, sniffed, sniffed. What portal into the universe had I just entered? There, in front of that grate, God showed me heaven.

Apparently, that contraption on the outside of the house is called an air conditioner and somehow it pumps cold air into our home, coming directly to this vent! I can intercept the pure, cold air the second it enters the room and have it all for myself!

On an especially record hot day (when the flowers/garden had to be watered three times and the mama said pretty profound profanities about alleged global warming), she and I ran into the house as I panted and she continued to sweat all over me. As she went to put more cool water in my bowl and retrieve that pledged snack, I knew there was only one place in the world I was destined to be.

Before she could even turn away from the sink, I plopped my little body in front of the vent, flipped over and made sure all my private parts were fully exposed and pointed toward the grate. I gurgled with joy, gave out tiny ecstatic barks and wagged my tail so hard it nearly fell off. I also placed my paws in front of my face, so my little armpits were appreciatively open to receive this most-treasured gift called AC.

Oh, the joy! I didn’t puppy-bite anyone or anything that whole afternoon. I refrained from attacking my stuffed bear and the Bomgaars toy ferret never once made a squeaking noise. I didn’t care to touch a ball or hunt for wayward toilet paper rolls I could destroy. I don’t think Mom even said the word “No” one time in my direction because I managed to not do anything that needed to be corrected.

I just strategically placed myself up against the grate for literal hours, turning myself ever so slightly ever so often, kind of like a rotisserie chicken but with the opposite intent.

When I fell asleep, I dreamed about running through snow this winter (I’ve heard I’m going to love it, hopefully not like I was supposed to be obsessed with my pool). When I was awake, I fantasized about cool spring mornings and wondered what it will be like to play in the colorful leaves this fall.

And I so appreciated the blissful cold on my belly as I relished a tiny Milk-Bone I’d earned by the astounding feat of pooping on the surface of the sun. Ever done it? It’s not easy and not for everyone.

What a wonderful discovery I’ve made. I’ve found The New World. Call me Rico Columbus!

It’s now August 7, so I think we have a little way to go until the most hated season comes to a close. But I’ll be alright. My universe is complete.

I found a way to beat the heat.

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