Thursday, April 15, 2010
Splash ...and another SPLASH!
The setting was at the lake, at the docks which had recently been put in. The docks formed a rectangle with water in the middle.....deep water...too deep for some of the dogs to stand.
Lessa was walking around the far end of the docks with her dog Buster and Melissa was following. I was on the beach tossing bumpers for Lab Lucy. We heard a splash Buster was in the water. Then another splash, Melissa was in the water. Buster is not a big swimmer despite his heritage of being mostly Lab, and Melissa was just learning to swim. And there they were in the area of water surrounded totally by the docks with no way to get out. Both of them swam to the far side of the dock furthest from where Lessa was standing. Buster attempted to get out of the water by leaping onto the dock, but gravity was against him. He clung to the dock with his front paws. Melissa I believe may have been standing on her tip toes but she was unable to drag herself onto the dock...again gravity was against her also. Neither dog could make it up onto the dock, the angle was too steep. Buster was beginning to fall back, his eyes were wide, he was worried. Melissa was still trying to figure out how to get her body up onto the dock. We both ran to them. I jumped into the water, I could stand, the water was mid-thigh and COLD! Lessa ran to in front of the dogs. We lifted Buster onto the dock first. And then Melissa. Buster was still worried. He didn't bother to shake himself off, instead he walked briskly to the van and jumped into the crate. If a dog could look bewildered that was Melissa. She shook herself off then gingerly walked the length of the dock and jumped onto the beach.
We let them dry off a bit, Melissa running on the beach with Lab Lucy, Buster in the van drying his feet. Lessa and I thought that perhaps the docks rocking in the wind would be a source of stress for both Buster and Melissa. We set out to make a pleasant association of the docks for them. With a handful of treats we lured each of them onto the dock....Lab Lucy led the way.
Buster had eyes only for the food in Lessa's hand. He gingerly got onto the dock and after the first morsel he was back to his confident self on the swaying docks. Melissa had to get her sea legs back and was a bit tentative at first but following Lucy she stepped onto the dock from the beach.
Within a few minutes and many treats and she was once again comfortable on the docks walking back and forth following Lessa and Buster.
Lab Lucy was once again swimming after bumpers, Buster was looking for more food and Melissa decided to go for another swim, but this time she walked in from shore.