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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Swimming in it

The hot days of summer are nearly upon us. And if you're a furry black dog like Lilah, you're going to find ways to cool off. Lilah is always the first dog to find a shady spot under a tree. She's also the one who finds mud to lie down in, and will dig a lovely, cool dog bed in the garden.

But I think Lilah's favorite thing to do when it gets warm is to go swimming in the doggy pool.  On hot days, I'll drag the pool out of the shed and set it up in the shade. Lilah watches the whole process closely, probably because she is somewhat suspicious of the water hose. But once the pool is filled and the hose is removed, she jumps right in.

Lilah's favorite activity in the pool is to walk around in a circle, blowing bubbles with her nose under water. Now Jasper and Tucker, on the other paw, well, their favorite thing to do with the pool is to stay far, far away. For two dogs with an aversion to getting wet, a doggy pool seems like utter insanity.

Lilah loves blowing bubbles in her pool

Nothing like a wet drippy doggy face.

There is often more than one pool out for the dogs. Well, Dog. It's Lilah who plays in both of them.

The boys just don't understand the concept; if a bath is torture and rain is barely tolerable, why in the world would you want to put your paws in the pool? Even for treats. Though I have been able to convince them now and again to do it.

With treats as incentives, Aaron entices Jasper to get his paws wet on the top step of our in-ground pool. Lilah has already happily splashed back and forth along the top.
With lots of encouragement and treats, I can sometimes get the boys to put a few paws in a pool. Rarely all four at the same time. Here, Jasper has his two front paws in the water, and Tucker just the one.

Because Lilah is aware of the boys' distaste for water, she uses the pool quite strategically. When Jasper and Tucker chase her a little too aggressively, she heads straight for it, leaping in with a big splash. You can hear the screech of tires burning rubber as the two brothers put the brakes on so they don't wind up in the pool with Lilah. She'll slowly turn around in the pool, with a sneaky dog smile, "Why don't you come in, boys? The water is divine." Of course, they don't. Lilah: 1, Jasper and Tucker: 0. A typical score on a warm sunny day.

Tucker just doesn't understand the appeal.
Fascinated at Lilah's behavior, Tucker still keeps his distance. He doesn't want to get Unnecessarily Wet .

On his own, without Lilah to splash him, Tucker investigates. Maybe it's just a giant water bowl?

When Rosie was with us, swimming took on a whole new meaning; she loved to jump in our in-ground pool. She'd chase a stick or ball thrown in the water, diving in and paddling back to the stairs with it, hoping you'd throw it again. She was such a pool hound; it was amazing to see her swim over to a float and climb up on it; I don't know how she managed to balance on those wobbly things, but she did. Rosie was In Charge of the pool. If you were splashing too much and she thought she needed to "save" you, she'd leap into the water, and make her way over to you with her scruffy wet nose in the air--and then she'd paw at you until you took notice. And if you kept on being noisy after that, she'd run around the deck and bark. 

Rosie loved water in all its forms. She used to Help me water my garden, and enjoyed Helping a young Corinne fill up a re-purposed kiddie pool as well.

A dripping wet Rosie after a swim in the pool.

It's June already, and hot summer days are upon us. I'll be bringing out the doggy pool more often, and I'm sure Lilah will make good use of it.  Maybe by the end of the summer, I'll convince the boys that swimming can be fun.

Or maybe not.

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