Dipping Our Toes In The Pool

 

Today, Lily the Lab had an adventure at a local facility that provides dogs with pool time & training to eventually learn to dock dive if the dog chooses.

The trainer reminded us that anything Lily did today was good, and I agreed with her. Of course, in my mind I imagined Lily would be a natural given her natural propensity for running faster than light, jumping and leaping and playing fetch until everyone is ready to pull out their hair.

But, she was a little shy and kind of demure. I suppose I was grateful she didn’t lose her mind and try to drown the trainer. I’m also thankful she didn’t turn the pool into a toilet in any way–the clean-up fees could have eaten away our budget for things as fun as doggy swimming lessons.

Our appointment began with paperwork and a life jacket fitting. Then it was up the steps to the dock and checking out the ramp. The trainer says they start with teaching about the ramp because it’s important for the dogs to know where it is so when they enter the water, they can confidently make it over there and use it effectively.

Lily became super acquainted with the ramp today. It’s where she spent most of her time. She shot me several of the looks captured in this photo. These images would be captioned, “Is this lady with the squeaky toys and treats someone we trust, Mom, or should we label her stranger danger?”

Lily loves fetching and catching, but today, she was a little less than certain about her interest in doing either.

The sequence of shots above serve as highlights of a back-and-forth several minutes that resembled a hokey pokey. She put her foot in, took her foot out–you get the idea.

And then, like any good hokey pokier, she put her WHOLE self in–much to her surprise.

She showed her natural lab swimming abilities as she looped around to try and come close to the side where her trainer and I were standing and offering lots of encouragement.

I could tell she wasn’t 100% jazzed, but she also wasn’t panicked or anxious. I believe she liked it in spite of herself, but she was not sold on the idea entirely.

 

Once she reached the ramp, she had a little trouble putting herself up it because she
approached it from the side. I think this threw her off more than anything else.

The trainer went into the pool after Lily was up the ramp and had some pets from Daddy.

The trainer and I tried to coax her to come back down the ramp. While she went up to her ankles into the water, she didn’t take the plunge.

After her swimming lesson, she enjoyed a nice warm shower and the truck ride home. I definitely think this will be something Lily ends up doing well and enjoying. I can’t wait for our next visit!

 

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