Nature photography, political rants, and Martyman laughs from the ten-time award-winning author Marty Essen

Walking on water

Marty’s photo of the day #4083: Nellie thinks I can walk on water, and I think she can walk on water too. And when you both believe—anything can happen!

My wife, Deb, shot this photo of Nellie and me a little over a week ago, at the American Prairie Reserve in central Montana. We were renting a yurt along a remote section of the Judith River, and after hiking for miles each morning, we’d return to the yurt for lunch before stepping out back to lounge along the riverbank during the heat of the day.

Just behind where Nellie and I are standing, the river drops to waist-high depth. Nellie, being part Australian cattle dog, has never been a swimmer, preferring to play in the shallows. So when I waded all the way across the river, I was shocked and touched that she followed me—swimming for the first time! The current was so fast that I had to stay near her until she figured out how to angle her swimming so she didn’t drift downstream. After a few days, the golden retriever part of Nellie took hold, and she learned to enjoy water above her belly.

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