Today I took Athena down to Profile Falls for a nice hike along the Pemi. We played stick and she ran around getting a lot of that puppy energy out. Because it was (WAS being the key word here) nice and sunny, we both got pretty hot so I took her to Webster Lake in Franklin to teach her to swim. This is something I’ve been planning on doing since I got her. Wolf has always said dogs know how to swim instinctively. While I agree, I have to qualify his statement with my own: dogs know how to swim, sorta.
I had to pull Athena into the water (I went in first so she wouldn’t be afraid) with her leash. She would walk until it was over her head then paddle away with all four of her paws but she’d start to panic. She never went under the water with her face but I could see she was really struggling so I helped her back to where she could stand. I did this with her a bunch of times and each time it was harder and harder to get her to swim out to me despite giving her lots of praise.
It seems the bottom end of her body lack buoyancy so her rear end was pulling her down while her front legs were frantically trying to propel her back to shore. That is, her ass is heavier than her head so she was sinking. Twice I had to hold her under the chest and belly to keep her from going under. After the fourth time I tied her to the fence then did a little swimming of my own. She seemed content to sit on the beach.
Next time I’ll bring a stick and throw it in the water in hopes she’ll go for it. There is little which ranks higher on her hierarchy than a stick. I’ll have to be more discreet though, dogs aren’t allowed on the beach.*
It was awesome to be immersed in Father Water today. It’s the first time since last year I’ve been in the water and it was so cleansing, so purifying. I thanked him for live and hydration as I dipped my head so he surround me three times. I can’t wait to go swimming again so we can commune!
*Despite the sign being there no one said anything to me, including marine patrol whom I walked past twice.