Having a labrador, I have always wanted to take her swimming. Labradors are bred to love water - well, except when they are forced to take a bath or to need to go outside in the rain. Then they're not so found of the wet stuff. But swimming is good. I know this from the many times Leia has splashed around in the baby pool we bought for her.
But she's a big dog and it's a small pool so there has never been any real swimming involved. Well today there was a Pooch Plunge held at a local community pool so I just had to take her. The Pooch Plunge was held for just one day in order to raise funds for the construction of a new dog park being established in the area. Besides a lack of places to take your dog swimming, Toledo is also lacking any dog parks so I am on board with this plan. So I loaded up the family and the dog and we headed to the pool.
This is a summary of Leia's (and my) experiences. First, there was a lot of butt sniffing and mingling (of the dogs. I was not involved in this segment). Then I figured the best way to get her in the pool was to just make her go for it. So I threw her ball into the water. And she jumped. And she promptly turned right around, swam to the edge and crawled out. Hmm. Ok, so we needed another approach. I rolled up my pant legs (why I didn't think to wear shorts, I'll never know), and took her by the leash into the shallow end. Now this was more her speed and her feet were on solid pool bottom.
We played in the shallow end a bit, tossing (me) and retrieving (her) the ball. And each time, I threw the ball a little further. And she finally got the hang of the entire swimming thing! She'd run/swim out, dive under for the ball, swim/run back and we'd do it again. In between, she would check out another dog or two but for the most part, she was enjoying the adventure too much to even care about the other dogs.
Here's a little video of her going for the ball:
Yes, that's my overly enthusiastic voice encouraging her. My wet, soaked to the undies voice. Ok, so that part wasn't so much fun but watching her and the other dogs play in the water was tons of fun! Great time for a great cause. We will definitely participate again next year for the 2nd annual Pooch Plunge!
If you are friends with me on Facebook, I have more Pool Plunge photos posted there. Have a great week!
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