Learned something new recently: when outdoor swimming pools close for the fall, on the last day they let people bring their dogs to swim. This year, I took Bentley to two of these swim events.
I know he’s OK with water; he jumps right into the tub when it’s bath time and when we go for walks down by the river, he loves to splash around.
The first swim had so many dogs! There was a ramp leading down into ankle-deep water, and then it got deeper from there. This pool had mostly been drained. I tried coaxing Bentley into deeper waters to see if he would actually swim, but he was not a fan. He kept jumping up on me to keep his chest out of the water. My legs got all scratched up. I got him to swim a little bit by backing away from him as he moved towards me to jump. At one point he used another, taller dog’s back to put his paws up on to get out of the water some. (Smart puppy!) After that, I decided not to push the issue and let him run around the area off leash (the area was completely fenced in) both as a reward for being a good spot and to let him run off some of his energy. (The pictures in the post are from this trip. I forgot to take my camera with me the next time, alas!)
The second swim went much better. This was a much bigger pool, and it was set up such that the shallow end was like a beach. You could get into the water very gradually. I think Bentley liked this set up a lot more. This time, I just let him off leash right away. He enjoyed splashing around, but he still didn’t want to get in too deep. After a bit, I decided to walk around the pool area just to get to see the whole thing. There was a separate, deeper pool for the high dive, and as we were walking past, a bigger dog ran by and accidentally knocked Bentley in. My poor baby! Thankfully, instincts kicked in and he managed to swim to a wall (but not the one I was standing at) and a helpful volunteer dragged him out by his collar.
We went back over to the shallow end where I continued to try to coax Bentley to try to swim, and he managed to make me proud on two occasions. There was this low, curved wall separating two of the shallow areas with an opening between the two at the deeper side. (Deeper in this case is about 2ft deep) Bentley liked to jump up onto it. I was standing in knee-deep water (the puppers only comes up to about mid-calf) and leaning on the wall when he jumped up at the more shallow end. I called to him to see if he’d walk along the wall to me. First, he jumps down, takes a few steps and realizes that it’s going to get deep. So then he runs around the outside of the pool to the outer wall behind me. He realizes the water there is even deeper, and that wasn’t going to work. So he runs around back to where he was, jumps up on the wall and trots on over to me. Although he didn’t do that straight off, it was really cool to see him try different things and finally figure it out!
Then, we mostly just hung out for awhile. Bentley was chased about by a smaller dog, and he did some chasing in return. He really had a blast. Then I went and stood in slightly deeper water while watching him frolic. While Bentley has absolutely ZERO recall when he gets loose in the neighborhood, when there are lots of dogs around, he likes to keep close to mommy. So eventually, he swam out to where I was! He took the long way too, so it was quite a bit of a swim for him! (About 20-30 feet) I was *SO* proud of my little puppers! And I have to admit, I was feeling all warm and fuzzy too, cause he did something new and difficult and scary, and he did it just to be closer to me. ❤