"You even have mud in your hair..."
Such was the incredulous statement by one of the family members here as she stared at me; her gaze roving from head to toe. I grinned and winked at her before walking to my bedroom to change. I was splattered with mud from top to bottom. Both front side and back side. Mud in my hair, on my face, on my hat, on my Carhartt coat, on my jeans, on my hands... And I was blissfully happy. Mud is something I love.
No, I wasn't out rolling in the mud. Or making mud pies.
Gyp and I went mudding. Well, "poor girl's mudding" anyway... True mudding is something you do in a truck, or on a ATV. Speeding your way through big mud puddles and enjoying the crazy messiness of it all. Mudding is a BLAST!! Although, I think you have to be a certain level of redneck/country to enjoy it. Or at least not mind the fact that you have mud in your teeth. To continue though! Gyp and I went and did the cheater version of mudding!!
The temps outside were hovering around 40F, and there was nary a cloud in the sky. Gorgeous weather by anyone's standards! I wanted to be outside and glory in the sunshine, and I knew that Gyp needed to burn some serious energy; but I didn't want to run since the back roads here were muddy, slushy, wet, and not runner friendly. So I grabbed a bicycle and a dog leash. Gyp needs some ground training for this urban mushing, right? Might as well see what happens when he's got a wheeled invention behind him!
This idea was rather foolish, and I jolly well knew it. My plan was to simply leash him up and hold the leash in my left hand, while biking along with him. Who knows what would happen! But by Jove, I was going biking! And my dog was coming! Never argue with a Caity when her mind is made up!
All in all it went pretty well. Gyp had never seen a bike before, but didn't really care since he was suddenly able to run full tilt down the road. We started out slowly, so I could watch his reaction to the bike; once I felt comfortable that he wasn't going to freak out, I psyched him up with a loud "Step up and HIKE!" and he took off like a rocket. I was on gear 6, going downhill, and he was still beating me. He was even pulling me ever so slightly. Together we floored it, like the crazy duo that we are. Over pitted gravel roads, going through every mud puddle there was, alternating between shouting, "Hike!" to encourage Gyp and hollering "Heck YEAH!" when we hit a particularly large mud puddle. We did still have three near mishaps though. One when Gyp stopped suddenly because he caught whiff of a critter; meanwhile I kept going on the bike. We both had a very abrupt jerk on our ends, and I almost flipped off the bike. The second was when Gyp swerved over to the right side, when he was too close to the front wheel. I just about popped a wheelie on that one and almost flipped backwards from trying too hard to swerve out of the way. The last was when he suddenly sped up and I was caught unprepared. But, I stayed on that bike nevertheless! And Gyp learned from each episode!
I finally made Gyp stop running after almost 3/4's of a mile. He wasn't even breathing heavily, but I didn't want to over do it. We still had to run all the way back home, for goodness sake! By this time we were off the gravel back roads and onto civilized asphalt. I was ready to go back to the back roads though. The mud puddles awaited! On a whim, I've decided to train Gyp to nautical terms instead of the traditional mushing terms. So instead of hollering "haw!" to tell Gyp to turn left as we headed back for home, I shouted "Port!". Hehehe. C'mon, how could I resist? You only live once, so you might as well be amusing, right? My level of awesomeness entails riding on a dog-driven scooter down a landlocked Missouri road, shouting things like "Anchors away!" and "Hard to starboard!". The neighbor's already think I'm a nut; I'm just helping to confirm it.
We practically flew home; still aiming to hit every mud puddle, and still trying to go faster than the other. I had just enough time to give the one-finger wave to a neighbor as we zoomed past (his facial expression was priceless), and half wondered if I shouldn't have stopped and explained myself. Oh well. Gyp and I made it home faster than we set out, and he was STILL a hyper ball of energy when I let him off the leash and took him back to the dog pen. Meanwhile, I was plumb tuckered out, and desperately wanted water!
At this point, I didn't really know what I looked like... I could see the mud covering my jeans and hands, but that was about all. It wasn't until I got home and was confronted by the wide-eyed stares of the others that I thought to go look in a mirror. Wow. Not too shabby for the first try! I looked like I had been in a mud fight!
Mission accomplished. The dog was exercised, and I was deliciously dirty.
I think I just might do it again tomorrow.