On one of the hottest days of the year, two days after the first day of fall, author Rick Revelle is reading from his third novel, Algonquin Sunset, about aboriginal life prior to European contact at Word on the Street, Toronto, Ontario`s annual book festival. (Amazon.ca affiliate link)
I’m intrigued for two reasons:
- First, I’ve read very little, if anything, about Canada prior to French or British arrival
- Second, dogs feature heavily in the story.
Yes, dogs. Apparently, dogs were the beasts of burden used by nomadic tribes to carry supplies, fight off wild animals, and hunt in the wilderness. Dogs were domesticated in the 13th century long before the monarchy of the old world knew the new one existed.
I wouldn’t have learned this if Victor, my little black terrier cross, didn’t need a break from the sun shortly after we arrived at Word on the Street, Toronto’s annual book festival filling the hard-to-drive-to Harbour Front lakeside space along Queen’s Quay on September 24, 2017. We finally arrive after inching the car four blocks for 30 minutes to get into a $20 parking lot (love Toronto).
Every year, I vow it’s the last year I go the Word on the Street.
Then minutes after I arrive, I’m glad I did.
Is Victor glad? I’m not sure, though he hates being left at home. Ten minutes after I visit the first few booths – and found a non-fiction book about The Canadian Horse (a book I want to write) – Victor is taking sanctuary from the sun in the Indigenous Voices Tent. Victor needs some shade.
So we stay for the first reading. That’s how I learn about loyal dogs that traveled by canoes, in large numbers, living side-by-side with Iroquois, and dutifully protecting their packs while eating cast-off fish heads and whatever else they could forage.
Clearly, some things have changed. Victor definitely eats better and forages for nothing … not even water, especially at hot outdoor festivals.
Today, we have plenty of water inside a Messy Mutts stainless steel travel water bottle and bowl given to me by the company in exchange for an honest review.
I’m hoping this Messy Mutts portable water bottle is the answer to my dog travel problems.
According to the company, here are the product highlights:
- Hygienic stainless steel bottle
- BPA and PVC free
- Easy pour release button – unused water drains back into the bottle
- Silicone bowl folds back over bottle for portability
Here’s my problem:
Trying to get Victor to drink while we head out for day trips, festivals and even dog parks in the summer is a challenge. He’ll drink a bit from a bowl … if I fill it to the top. But he only drinks a bit. Then I dump water over the pavement because we have to move on.
I waste a lot of bottled water. Worse than that, I have to carry more bottles than necessary.
So when I saw the Messy Mutt’s refillable bottle with a flexible piece of rubber that flips up to form a drinking bowl, I thought, “That’s it.” The best part is excess water flows back into the bottle.
Well, most of it goes back in. Some water stays in the bowl, and I had to learn to let the excess water drain off the rubber.
Yes, I actually had to learn that – the first few tries, I didn’t get all the water out of the bowl. Then I put the bottle back in my bag and got all the books I bought partially wet. Fortunately, they were all good deals and none intended for gifts.
But my Canadian Horse book is permanently crinkled.
Victor, however, drank water easily about every ten to fifteen minutes from the bottle. I refilled the it in the bathroom like any other stainless steel bottle and even used the spout to pour water over the dog – it was that hot.
Ancient native dogs might have jumped in the lake. Not Victor. A fountain maybe, but only to his paws.
After meeting a Viking (promoting a museum event), it’s time to go. We’ve got new books to read, damp or otherwise.