The trails wind through woods and are mostly deserted on chilly days. Toby can walk off leash, which is why he loves coming to this park so much. He stands on the console between the seats as we get close, panting with anticipation as the familiar landmarks slide past.
When we reach the river we split up in the open field. Each of us has a snack stick, and we call Toby back and forth. He runs as fast as he can and scoots to a stop on his rear right in front of one of us. Once he has his goodie he spins around and races to his other person. We call him, but he know the game so well now that we don't really need to.
After three or four rounds he starts to get tired and is just a bit slower. His tongue starts lolling out. He's been eating so fast that his spit is frothing on his lips. We end the game while it's still fun and go to the riverbank for him to get a drink. Today I threw a few sticks in, hoping to entice him to wade deeper or even swim. No dice - he will only walk in up to belly level.
We enjoy the pretty view and bask in the warm sun at a picnic table for a few minutes. Toby sniffs around near us. Eventually we get up and hike back up the trails with a very contented dog leading the way.