Kirby swims at Eupora Lake all the time. He loves to run into the water, sometimes barking and snapping at the waves made by passing boats, other times to swim. He's used to the gentle slope of land leading into the water. He was a little unsure upon his first visit to a pool since there was no sloping area where he could wade into the water. He wasn't sure about jumping in until I gave him a little "nudge". Once he realized that jumping in was ok we couldn't keep him from jumping in over and over. The word "wait" which he follows any other time had no meaning whatsoever.
From then on we couldn't keep him out. He jumped, he swam, again and again. When he wanted out he would swim to the edge waiting for one of us to help him get out.
Kirby does not fetch. He will go get a toy if we ask for one by name. He will go after one of his toys if we throw it across the room while playing. If we throw a ball or a stick he will run to it, sniff it, and then leave it where it is. We gave up trying to teach him to fetch a frisbee, much less catch it. We think he fetched his toy in the pool because it's "his" (one of his favorites) and he didn't want another dog to get it. Whenever another dog did get his toy, even taking it from his mouth, he never struggled to hold on to it or take it back.
He was popular with the children. They loved that he was such an enthusiastic swimmer and he was an approachable size for them. Some would swim with him, some would throw his toy for him to fetch. We were amused the few times they threw his toy into the smaller kiddie pool. He would run in the shallow water, grab his toy, and run back to the big pool.
Kirby has a tendency to go and go to the point of exhaustion. At the lake we make him take regular breaks to rest. Since this event was only two hours we let him have all the fun he wanted which is why I stayed in the pool in case he needed help.
Kirby won the award for Best Dog Paddle. Don't tell him but I believe almost every dog won an award - good for their self esteem. Notice the two dogs who come up to "congratulate" him. The one on the left is Cordelia, a past foster sister, and the one on the right is a new friend he had been swimming with. He does seem to like the bigger dogs - is that part of the small dog syndrome??
It was a great day. Kirby had a great time. As soon as we got into the truck he jumped into the back seat and was asleep almost the second he lay down. We hope this does become an annual event. His kiddie pool just isn't the same...
Pooch Pool Party Recap
First Annual Dog Paddle