I know temperatures are climbing into summer territory when the girls ask to dip their toes in Lake Washington and take a drink or two during our daily walks.

Meadow & Maia, cooling their jets, uh, I mean, toes.
This need for water is just one of many differences I've come to see between the girls - Alaskan malamutes - and Finn, an Aussie. When the girls were my trail running companions, I had to carefully plan my routes to ensure there were plenty of streams for them to drink from, regardless of season. They need lots of water, at regular intervals.

Finn, in contrast, seems to go miles without any need or desire for water. We'll come to a stream, and despite my entreaties that he stop and drink, he'll purposefully go on by and keep moving down the trail. When he's thirsty, he drinks. During the summer months, he might dip his toes to cool his body temperature a bit. His need for water is simply much less than the girls.

Of course, when you're a malamute - carrying a thick fur coat every step - when there's no snow to be found, cooling off by putting your paws in cold wild water is enormously beneficial. So, whenever the opportunity presents itself, I let the girls wade.

 Lake water isn't as fresh and cold as wild stream water, but it'll do.