Saturday, September 8, 2012

Doggie Paddle

The pups and I set out this afternoon for a walk along the pathway in our neighborhood.  My mom has posted pictures of us along this pathway many times.  It's the perfect place to walk because there are no cars, very few people, and it's just soo pretty down there.   I say down there because the pathway winds through a mini-canyon with a small stream running through it.  There are a few small wooden bridges and when the water's up it's beautiful.   We were planning on a long walk because I was waiting for this afternoon's thunderstorms to roll in and was hoping we might get sprinkled on a bit to cool off.

Halfway down the pathway it sort of opens up a bit and you can easily get to the little stream.  There are places where it is very shallow, just a few inches of water and some pretty yellow river rocks. Then there are a few spots where the water begins to pool and it becomes about three feet deep.   My mom and I have stopped several times at this spot and I always walk the dogs down to get their feet wet.   Well today I was feeling especially adventurous, and was wearing the proper attire, so I decided we all needed to go a little deeper.   I wasn't at all worried about Bonnie.  In her younger days we took her to the beach and she would run into the waves after a ball.  She doesn't love the water like a lab, but she knows how to paddle and only looks slightly pathetic.

Bailey however... he looked a lot like this.  (Though this is not Bailey -- I wish I had my camera to document the real thing)

Despite the bugged out eyes, he did much better than expected.  I never did ask Leda about his previous experiences with water, but I suspect they were limited.   He wasn't a huge fan, but Bonnie seemed to give him confidence.   After about five or six passes across the deep part he seemed to get the idea and would almost happily launch himself in.  

I suppose I have a sink or swim mentality when it comes to dog training.  My mom has always made fun of me for dragging Bonnie along as tiny puppy on a walk when she was only a few months old.  I also sloshed her through water, banged loud things around her, turned the hair blow dryer on her every morning while I was getting ready, and insisted that she let me hold her like a baby whenever I wanted to.   I suppose I figure if they do it enough, they'll get use to it... or at least that's my theory... and that's also why we spent a good thirty mins traversing a small body of water this afternoon.

We got home just in time for the clouds to start rolling in for the afternoon storm.   I brought the dogs upstairs and blocked them in the kitchen with some frozen marrow bones as a reward and as time to dry off.   They spent about two hours in there munching away, and now my kitchen smells like wet dog and beef fat but I don't mind.   It was the perfect end to the afternoon.   Next time, I'll be a good blogger and remember my camera.  :)


Dianna said...

I have the same philosophy - if they do it enough or experience it enough, they'll get used to it. It seems to work or at least has in the past. Right now I'm working on two relatively new (to us) dogs, and they are having a hard time with some of my ways.

Lois said...

Derp-tastic....those EYES.....