As much as we humans enjoy the ease of summer weather, it’s just as anticipated by our pups. No more braving the freezing cold white stuff just to do their business on frigid mornings. And they can look forward to longer walks, and way more outdoor activities. In the summer season, it seems that we humans can’t get enough of being outside. Any excuse and we’ll drag our whole world outside. The dog misses nothing. It sees the table being set outside, the trays of meat being carried out to the grill, and countless visitors who are lax about watching where they put their plates. I’m sure dogs dream of summer, smiling in their sleep.

As all dogs know, whatever tidbit that lands on the deck is fair game for snacking. The same goes for unattended plates within reach. Doesn’t matter if it was accidental or not. Dogs are pretty good at sizing up the best candidates for getting scraps from. Although there are plenty of grown-ups eager to share their food with the family dog, it’s often the kids who forget about their plates and leave them on their seats, or tip them just enough to let some of that grilled goodness slide off the plate and land on the deck. Dogs clue-in quickly and so hover nearby, quietly drooling puddles. Don’t let that stillness and patience fool you because the second little Jimmy gets up to get a soda out of the cooler leaving his plate on his seat, the opportunistic dog will zoom in. If anyone had ever thought to time it, there’s probably many a world record set on the amount of time it takes to steal a hot dog and run to a safe munching spot. Chances are good that the margarita crowd won’t even notice the dog setting a land speed record darting across the yard with a hot dog in its mouth. Clueless, Jimmy will return to see the hot dog missing from his plate—shrug and go get a replacement. Yet another successful summertime caper by the family dog.

Another cool thing about summer is that the people are way less vigilant about… well, everything. Bedtimes are loose or nonexistent, which means having playfellows long into the night. Glow in the dark Frisbees and balls were invented for summer nights, and when they come out, the look on the dog’s face says it all: best day ever! Walks are transformed into hikes, which means that the exploring will last for hours rather than a quick dash around the property. Other dogs are enjoying the outdoors with their people too, which means more opportunities to meet new friends.

Summertime means water time, and for some lucky dogs, it also means a swimming pool of their very own. That’s right, a dog-sized swimming pool set up for the dog to splash around in. There are many styles of water play for a dog to employ. Some dogs take a running leap, displacing as much water as possible on the landing. Others do their best impression of a hippo, submerging as much of their body as will fit. Still others stand in the middle and dig at the water, like a splashing machine. The filling of said pool is just as fun as playing in it. Many a dog will bite at the water streaming from the hose—a delicious mouthful of cold water in every chomp. Even bath time is made better in the summer, as it can easily be done on the deck with some shampoo and a hose. No shrieking when the dog shakes its fur like when it happens indoors. And the humans hardly bother with the toweling; they just let the dogs lay in the sunshine until their fur is dry.

Sometimes dogs will take advantage of a large swimming pool when the humans aren’t using it. I saw footage of some Dobermans doing just that. A man couldn’t figure out how his poolside chaise lounge cushions were soaking wet each day when he got home, so he set up some cameras. Turned out, the neighbor dogs—three cinnamon Dobies—had figured out a way into his yard and were using the chaise lounges to launch into the pool, take a lap, go down the faux rock waterslide and go again. They would take many laps through this dog-made course until they were tired out. After everything was soaking wet and they’d had their fun, they’d go home. Once the camera footage was revealed, not only did it solve the mystery of the wet cushions, it also explained how the dogs’ fur was getting bleached. It was a fun game while it lasted, but the weak spot in the fence was fixed and the Dobies’ time in the neighbor’s pool came to an end.

Another summer season tradition is camping, and boy do dogs love that! Camping is all the best parts of summertime rolled into one marathon playtime. There’s grilling, playing long into the night, fireside snacks, including marshmallows, sticky hands and faces to lick, and cuddling in a heap at night inside a tent. If the camping spot is close to a lake, even better with all the gamey smells, mossy sticks, and opportunities to cool off by paddling around in the water.

It goes without saying that as much as we humans cannot wait to step outside and wallow around in every aspect of summer, our pups love it too. A single glance at their smiling muzzles is all it takes to see the truth. This summer, may you and your dogs have an adventurous, water-soaked, tent snuggling, grilled meat-munching, fun-filled, memory-making season to look back on fondly.