You may recall me waxing emotionally about my water-shy Lab taking his first ginger steps into the communal dog park pond. Need to catch up? Read more about Rex.
Or you may have read about Rex's family dog rank system, mot to be missed.
No doubt, you're wondering what the furry fellow has been up to lately. At the dog park, he has been making tremendous strides, or rather, strokes and is now swimming along with the best of them. We love to see him jump right in and cavort with the other water pups, instead of watching from the sideline.
Now that summer's in full swing, our pool at home is seeing unprecedented action. I was befuddled for a time, as to how we ended up with so many "guests" on a daily basis. Most of these teens are not yet driving and are not from the immediate neighborhood. After a bit of Mom sleuthing, I discovered that my daughter was, in addition to directly inviting a couple of friends, also posting an open invitation on her facebook wall.
(much eye rolling)
Now the pooch loves to be outdoors, especially when he can tag along with the family, sniffing and approving any outside projects and supervising during play. We've been joking about his behavior around the pool, as he still hasn't taken the plunge, but circles the pool incessantly, behaving as if a canine lifeguard. That is, until just a couple of days ago.
This past week has been soooo hot. When we, and our 50 million guests, are in the pool, Rex just seems like he so much wants to jump in, but has yet been too nervous about the big drop. My husband and I were just hypothesizing about the appearance of the entry stairs and the color-blindness of dogs. We were considering adding black duct tape to the edge of the steps to help Rex believe they were truly there.
After an hour of watching him running around the pool, panting in the heat, I asked my husband to try to help him in. No easy feat as he weighs in at 90lbs and even at the shallow end, Rex stands even with our heads.
Even before he hit the water, his paws were already "swimming". He bee lined straight for the stairs and scampered out. A successful re-introduction!
A couple of days later, we tried it again. Again, bee line for the steps, but this time, instead getting out, he sat on top of the steps for quite some time, enjoying the water.
Today, among the pool guests, was a particular female friend of my daughter's who is NOT a dog person. That fact, combined with Rex's exuberance about greeting visitors, results in that she REALLY does not like Rex. At all. Fortunately, Rex is thick-skinned in that special dog way and has absolutely NO CLUE. In fact, she is his favorite. We joke that he is in love with her because he is most excited (that being an extreme amount of enthusiasm) when she visits.
Once she dived into the pool today, Rex went straight for the stairs. He pawed the air tenuously for a time, then stepped onto the stairs with his front legs. Then pawed at the water, then TOOK THE PLUNGE! Whoo hoo!
Of course, his first pool destination was to get as close as possible to you-know-who. And she thought she was safe from his advances in the pool! The faster she swam away, the faster he swam toward her. After some creative distraction, we were finally able to split the love-birds up. However, a new problem arose shortly thereafter.
You guessed it: Rex LIKES it in the pool! In fact, I had to resort to a hot dog bribe, combined with much cajoling to get him OUT of the pool. It's going to be a looooong summer.
Our backyard is completely surrounded by fence and then split in two halves, one side grassy dog roaming area, the other side contains the pool. I wonder how long it will take for Rex to figure out the simple latch on the center fence gate?
Do you have a swimming pooch?
PLEASE, share with me, how do you convince them it's time to get out of the pool?