Bill Cosby, back when he was just an up-and-coming comic who talked about the vicissitudes of family life, famously remarked on how 2-year-olds are happy to splash around in the toilet, but bawl their heads off when put into a bath.

We experienced something similar recently with Rosie, our 9-month-old Cockapoo puppy. We took the dogs — Rosie, and Cushla, the 5-year-old German Shepherd — to our favorite nature preserve so they could run, and we could enjoy the first fine spring weather. Both of those goals were accomplished in spades.

The dogs ran and sniffed, and chased each other and sniffed, and then sniffed some more. There was lots to discover, and they were going to find out all about it. Rosie zoomed this way and that, darting out in front of Cushla, then scampering away. Sometimes she avoided being rolled onto her back by the big dog, sometimes not. They were ecstatic, and we were grinning like fools as we watched them enjoy themselves.

Then they found the part of the river that curves and forms a placid, fairly shallow pool. Cushla was happy to chase sticks thrown into the water. Rosie watched for a little while, then got brave and went in herself, doing a sort of hop-leap to navigate through the pool, chest-high on her. She had a fabulous time and got thoroughly wet, stinky and, after she got out of the water, muddy. Both dogs were a mess, but with her soft, curly coat, Rosie was much the worse for wear.

We agreed that it was delightful to watch the friendbeasts (Maureen's word, which I love) have so much fun — and it was wonderful to feel the sun and mild air, to hear the birds and see the natural world coming back to vigorous life.

We had anticipated that the trip home might be a soggy one, especially for Rosie, and had brought a throw blanked to wrap her up in while she rode the short way home on my lap. I arrived home much damper than when we'd finished our walk, but that was OK. Then it was downstairs to the big work sink in the basement so I could wash the pup. I'd placed dog shampoo and towels in readiness and had changed my flannel shirt for a T-shirt that I didn't mind getting soaked and dirty — which was good, because it did.

The instant she was put into the sink (this was her first time in the basement), Rosie stood up on her back legs and started trying to escape. She didn't want to be there, no sir, nohow, no way! This is a dog who jumps into the bathtub upstairs for fun, so she can play with the drain, and who will also stick herself halfway into the shower stall if you don't close the door fast enough. (I vividly recall the day I looked into the shower and saw dozens of dirty little puppy paw prints all over the floor.) She's not averse to getting wet, as her exploits in the river had just demonstrated. But she didn't like that sink — luckily, because it's a couple of feet off the floor, jumping out was not as easy as exiting the bathtub.

It took me just a minute or two realize I'd have to get Maureen to come hold Rosie in the sink for me so I could wash her. That's one nice thing about always having a cellphone on you. Together, we got most of the tiny pine twigs and other bits of the forest out of her fur, washed the dirt off and dried her as much as possible. The drying was a struggle. By the time it was all over, we were both soaked from the waist up, but Rosie was reasonably clean and smelled a whole lot better.

It took her a long time to be really dry, and we took turns holding her, wrapped in another throw blanket, so she wouldn't shiver. Cushla was probably jealous of all the attention she was getting, but I think Rosie probably would've traded in order to avoid that sink.

I'm looking forward to getting a kiddie wading pool for her to play in on hot summer days. And I'm sure we'll go back to the nature preserve. It's just too much fun to watch the dogs playing in the river to balk at a little dirt and stench.