My Little Water Dog

So..one last July 4th post..promise!

So..I don’t think I’ve mentioned this, but after we ran the Born in the USA 4 miler, we got cleaned up, packed up the car and the dog, and made our way down to James Island County Park.  I had read that they have a dog park with access to a lake so that dogs can swim.

Now, Yota is part Bloodhound, but we are pretty positive he is part lab as well.  He has similar looks to a lab, he LOVES! Fetch with a passion (possibly even more than eating), and when he was a puppy, he looked just like a lab.  He also has black fur and his Bloodhound mother was a typical tan coloring.

 

The only thing he didn’t seem to be a fan of was water.  As a puppy, he loved the rain.  Anytime it would rain he would beg to go out in it to play and he would get major zoomies.  As he got older though, not so much.

So this past May, we ran a 5k with him and they had doggie pools everywhere.  He did not care to go in them at all.  So finally at the end, we picked up his feet and made him at least stand in it.  I think his feet must have been warm because he didn’t try to move.

See Spot Run 5k - 5/18/13

See Spot Run 5k – 5/18/13

A few weeks later, at the dog park at Sesqui, I encouraged him to get in the doggie pools there, and he did! He even layed down.  From then on, he loved the pools.  If we were playing fetch at the park, every few throws, he would run over to the pool, drop his ball and lay down in the water to cool off.  It was perfect! Towards the end of June, Andy got him a pool for at home and he loves it.  He isn’t in it all the time, but when we play, he will sometimes go sit in it to cool off.

So..we decided it was time to swim and we took him down to James Island County Park to learn to swim.

Source Unknown (If you know who took this pic, please let me know)

Source Unknown (If you know who took this pic, please let me know)

At first he was timid.  He played around with the other dogs on the grass and sand, but every time one would run into the water, he would stop at the edge.  So finally, I told Andy to go get his tennis ball and I slipped off my flip flops and slowly walked with Yota into the lake.  As long as I walk with him, he’s okay.  So we stayed like that for a little while and I would get a little deeper every few minutes..finally when I was up to about mid thigh, he got to a point that he couldn’t really touch anymore.  So then he started jumping around.  So we walked back up to the shore so that he could calm down again.  About that time Andy got back with the ball and we started tossing it short distances into the water.  Still where he could touch.  Then we started tossing it further.  The first time it went out of reach, he kind of panicked and looked back at us.  So I walked into the water with him towards the ball.  When we got to the point of no touch, he started jumping around and tried to get me to hold him.  I told him now and tried to encourage his swimming.  He swam a little to get the ball and then high tailed it back to shore.  We kept doing this until eventually he was comfortable swimming on his own to go get the ball.  This video says it all and if you’re a parent of a child or a furbaby, I think you can understand the excitement and pride we had for him.

I really didn’t mean for this to get so long, but I just got to talking and rambled on.  It was really an exciting day for all of us and I think it opened up a whole new world for him.  It’s like he finally found another part of him (the water loving lab part).

Do you have a pet that is like a child to you? 

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