22 October 2011

Water dogs

Ok. I am a bit better now. Computer is still messed up (I’ll spare you the colorful language I’ve been using), but I had an interesting/great outing yesterday so I am in a darn good mood.

Since a lot of people are doing doggy themes, I thought I’d add my two cents.  Get it?  Two Cents?  Hello?  Bueller?  Bueller?  Is this mike on?

Anyway, if you have paid any attention to this prattle, one might surmise I have a dog or two. Ok. I’ve tried not to make this an “all things canine” blog and have failed on some occasions. Not everyone appreciates the insight or humor of owning a pet (or being owned by a pet) sometimes brings. I have had dogs in the past. A few years back I did a brief tribute to each dog I’ve had in my life. Pebbles, Peanuts, Velvet, Shadow – all were unique dogs that contributed some part to my life. Along comes Grayson and, more recently, Claire. We have never had 2 dogs at the same time. Oh sure,  a dog and two cats, a goldfish, a canary, two turtles, and one snake (not for long), but never two dogs under one roof at the same time. We had briefly considered a second dog for Shadow to give him some company during the day, but never seriously. Some of our friends in GBGRR have 2-3 dogs.  Robin got us started with the club has 4 dogs, 1 one cat and a horse and is always fostering a new dog. Both Grayson and Claire came from her stable of critters. Honestly, I don’t know how she does it. We couldn’t foster two without falling for them. The interesting thing to note is the dynamics with two dogs. As RC noted, dogs will react to each other. We weren’t sure how Grayson would take to Claire at first, but those two became best buds. Whenever I take one out, the other wants to go as well.

At the GBGRR picnic, I won two of the raffle prizes (past few picnics I’ve never won anything). A home dog grooming (they come to your house) and an hour of swim time at Rummy’s Beach Club. One thing I have been meaning to do for a while is take these dogs to the pool. Oh, sure there is a pond in the dog park, but neither of these two seems to have any interest in swimming. Go figure:  2 Golden Retrievers who a) don’t retrieve and b) don’t swim. The pond at the dog park isn’t the best place to have them swim, the water's too nasty and too many other distractions.  So I figured I would have to take them to the lake or river and get in with them to see if I could coax them into the water. The certificate to Rummy’s was just the excuse I was looking for. The founder (Lisa) had built a pool specifically for training dogs to swim and she did it for her Blind Siberian Husky, Rummy. Lisa insists she is not a therapist, but more of a person to help dogs learn to swim, or at least get over their fear of water. I have been looking for a way to take my dogs to some watering hole and this was just what the doctor ordered. Since I had the day off and was paying bills and reading work e-mails, I called her on the fly and got a slot (she is booked solid) for a 2pm opening so I jumped in my suit, loaded up the land barge, and tossed the dogs in (like I could hold them back). They are always looking for a ride and adventure, so this was exciting to them. Took an hour to get across town but we finally made our way over to Lisa’s place. A very dog friendly site, with lots of room to run and explore and sniff and pee. After they got settled in, it was time to hit the pool. Small pool with a gradual entrance and sloped bottom for dogs to get used to. Both of my mutts were excited to be there but didn’t know what to make of the whole deal. Lisa started with Claire since she was the calmer of the two and strapped on a doggie life vest to help her float. Grayson was all high energy and kept circling the pool. I wound up sitting in the middle of the pool and coaxed Claire into the water to where she was eventually floating and swimming on her own. Hesitant at first, but eventually, she would swim out to me, make the loop around me and swim back to the landing. She wound up doing a few laps around me and she really was a trooper. Grayson, being the big macho dog, wasn’t having anything to do with that. We did get a vest on him and eventually got him into the water, but you could tell he wasn’t all sold on the idea. What really floored me was, while Grayson was struggling with learning to swim, Claire would doggie paddle out to him and swim alongside him until he reached the landing area. Several times she would swim out to him to show him how to do it. He got the hang of it but it took a while.  Claire, on the other hand, took to the water like a water bug. Given her weight and age, I had figured it was going to be harder for her, but she really surprised us. That’s what makes life interesting with these dogs - just when you think you’ve got them pegged, they show you something completely different. Sorry, no pictures this time. I was in the pool with them trying to encourage them.


terri said...

From all of your descriptions of your furry kids, I too would have expected Grayson to jump in both barrels and for Claire to be the hesitant one. Funny how their personalities continue to emerge.

I'm impressed with the facilities you have nearby that cater to dogs. I'm going to have to do some research and see what's nearby here for dog parks and such.

agg79 said...

Terri - I'd highly recommend taking Lucy to a dog park. It is a great way for her to "socialize" with other dogs and get some exercise.

meleah rebeccah said...

Go figure:  2 Golden Retrievers who a) don’t retrieve and b) don’t swim.

That's hilarious!

I'm glad to hear Claire did well in the pool! And I think it's adorable how she swam next to Grayson while he was getting used to the whole idea!

Abby said...

A pool for dogs?! How cool! As far as I know, we don't have one of those around here, but maybe I'll look into it. It's really sweet the way those dogs have adapted to their siblinghood