Jon’s German short hair dogs provided critical life support to Jon and I during the pursuit of our manhood in those high school years. One summer Jon, Philo and I, and “The Dogs” embarked on a long weekend hiking trip into a remote part of the Olympics. We each carried heavy packs with lots of junk food etc. “The Dogs” were essential as life support on the trip and each was equipped with a pack together they carried a case of beer, vodka and Tang. No, I am not kidding. It was quite a hot day but we and “The Dogs” raced 10miles anyways up the mountain through the forest, then the tundra and finally reaching a glacier waterfall. It being damn hot in the late afternoon, we naturally decided to refresh ourselves a little and to “cool off” under the waterfall. I suppose we made quite a racket because a park ranger appeared out of nowhere and was not happy to meet our acquaintance. He took special umbrage at “The Dogs” probably because he obviously suspected but could not see the booze. He issued Jon a written citation for “Dogs On Trail” which he said carried a fine of $100 bucks. He agreed to suspend the citation IF AND ONLY IF, we were off the mountain TODAY! After much bitching and screaming we decided to go back down the mountain even though it was about 4 PM and we had at least 10 miles to cover before nightfall. We still had considerable beer etc. to haul down with us so we loaded up “The Dogs” with their packs, shouldered our own packs and went grumbling on our way. As darkness set in we were exhausted and “The Dogs” had already decided to shed their packs requiring us to tie their packs onto our already heavy packs. After losing the trail several times in the forest during the moonless night we arrived at our base camp delirious at our salvation at around midnight. After taking additional refreshment following our 20 mile ordeal, we fell asleep at the state campground which served as our base camp. In the morning we awoke to “The Dogs” tied to a tree moaning and groaning as well as several neighboring campers doing the same. We discovered that both “The Dogs” had endured 36 hours without food or water. We had all slept right through the entire next day.
It was a beautiful summer day on Lake Roosevelt and Jon and his parents had invited me to accompany them on vacation. After a couple of days Jon and I had grown restless and managed to convince his parents to allow us to take the ski boat out on our own. Of course we brought “The Dogs” with us, Thank God. Exploring the lake, Jon and I decided to beach the boat on a nice sandy little island and have a little afternoon nap in the sun with “The Dogs”. We awoke about an hour later to find the boat was no longer beached but drifting away several hundred yards from the island. We and “The Dogs” immediately jumped into the water and began swimming after the boat. We made very little progress as the boat was drifting quite quickly and became exhausted I before Jon as he was a great swimmer. But Jon too was tired and called “The Dogs” to him and grabbed onto the collar of each and “The Dogs” managed to get Jon to the boat while I treaded water,…. and prayed. “Life Supporting Dogs….No,…..Life Saving Dogs.