I sent this e-mail to Rob on June 8th:
muddy decided to go for a swim in the creek this morning
matthew decided it would be fun to go along
neither thought to tell mom where they were going first
after 10 minutes mom called in reinforcement when Annette returned from her walk
found a cute little boy and his dog walking back from the creek, not a care in the world
Matthew really had no idea he had done anything wrong. We had never told him he couldn't go in the field or to the creek because he never had attempted to. He always stayed on the grass and he knew he wasn't allowed by the road or in the barn unless the girls were home. We never had any reason to worry about him when he was outside. As soon as I told him he had scared mommy when I couldn't find him he started crying ... his tears quickly dried up and he ran off to play. But he has never gone off in the field again without someone with him.
This was a day or two after we had decided that Muddy was ready to stay off of his chain during the day. He had been on the chain most of the day and only off at the end of the day when Rob was home. Marietta would try to let him go at times but he was too hyper and would not listen. We finally decided that maybe he would settle down a bit better if we let him loose for the day. This indeed has worked, while he can be a little much at times, he's mostly settled down and doesn't jump anymore. At the same time, if we tie him up because people are over he's accepting of this and lays quietly by his house. While there is good about the dog, his bad traits right now make it hard at times for me to remember that he has improved. I must remind myself continously as I find chewed up toys, wood, paper, gloves, towels, extension cords (for the pool), or whatever else he could have possibly found in the yard or off my clothes line on the front porch when I open the door. If there is one thing we have learned it's that we will NEVER get a puppy again.
But at the same time, as annoying as Muddy can be, I love to see the budding friendship between Matthew and Muddy. It truly is "A Boy and His Dog". When Matthew goes outside first thing in the morning he always has to make sure that Muddy is loose, he doesn't want to go outside unless Muddy is loose to play with. The two play nicely together and it's unbelieveable what Muddy will tolerate from Matthew. Matthew loves to jump and climb on him, tug and pull at him and he just lays there. They are quite the pair ... and Muddy seems to know now that Matthew isn't allowed off to the creek since he hasn't wandered off there again.
It would have made a beautiful picture that morning as they walked back from the creek. But I'm afraid I had other things on my mind and hadn't thought to bring my camera along :)