Saturday, September 19, 2009

Swimming in Chaos Part 2

We have taken Shadow to water and all he will do is drink. The first trip to Furman he would not even get his elbows wet. We've checked and his feet are webbed. Drastic measures were in order, so we took his favorite ball to the lake early in the morning before the crowds would come.
As you can see, the ball he left behind, but he was exploring... in the water.... It took a little enticing, but he started to warm up to it - or at least lose himself in the playing.Every time he got the ball, he would come out immediately - tail wagging!So I'd stay on shore to throw the ball in (there are advantages to also being behind the camera!), and James got in the water to entice more, encourage and just help all around. And here was Shadow's first time swimming!!!! He repeated it a few times that day - doesn't he look proud?!? There was really an ulterior motive in making sure he realized he could swim. Greenville Rec has a water park as one of the county parks. At the end of the season, they open it up to dogs. It's called Waggin and the Waterpark. You can check out the Greenville News photos at:

Shadow starts by checking out the water. He was in overload - There were easily 100 dogs there the hour that they allowed the large dogs in.

Getting to know other dogs (i.e. sniffing rear ends), Shadow ended up following another dog into the pool before he knew it - and there he was swimming!
He wasn't sure about getting in though himself. Again James is in the water. Boy did we wish we had brought his ball.
Other had balls there and fortunately, the one time he jumped in again was because two others had just jumped in after their ball. Then he did go for a long swim (with encouragement). One of the women on the side said, "Oh how cute - he's learning to swim - look at how he's splashing!"
It was a great day and we'll plan better for next year to make sure he's better prepared and has his favorite ball!
PS - we took him back to the lake the next week and he went in all by himself and readily swam for the ball. We have a water dog!!!


Life Looms Large said...

Wow - so much that's wonderful in one post!!!

That's great that Shadow's a water dog now!!! Good job you guys!!! I like it that you got photographic duty and sent the alpha male into the water.

How precious to see Shadow's first tentative steps into the water, and then to see him swim.

And that water park event is super cool! What an amazing idea! I might email our local water park to see if they'd consider it too. It would be really fun!!!

We have a local dog gym with an indoor dog pool. Bailey's only been there once - for the open house - and they didn't have the pool open for dogs. Your post totally makes me want to visit there with him this winter when his favorite watering holes are all frozen.

Shadow in a pool at a water park....wonderful!!

Thanks for blogging about this!! Definitely brought a smile to my face!


KaiteM. said...

hurrah for Shadow, a true blue (black) water dog. He'll be chasin ducks next! Thanks for sharing the story. K.

Theresa said...

Oh what fun!!!! Good for Shadow discovering his water loving roots.
Does this mean a dog/kiddie pool will be appearing in the back yard next year? :-)
We have a lake with a beautiful swimming area but sadly, no real gung-ho swimmers. Lexie was the last terrier I had that liked water and she really liked it. She looked like an otter and we would have to drag her out since she would stay in until she was shivering. She learned to dive for rocks too. Sam enjoyed a swim too. The crew now is convinced I am trying to drown them.
Anyway, some really great pics of Shadow. He looks like he's filling out and he certainly has a joyous expression!

Jennifer said...

Thanks! We'll see how it goes in the future. I'm sure he'll get even more interested. We've even started looking at lake houses - just dreaming, but it's funny to consider buying a house for the dog!!!

Sue - Greenville Rec did this as a fundraiser for building more dog parks around the county. You can use that angle for your local park!