By: Smiley Face Now
One of the many joys in life happens the day you realize your kids can swim. You no longer have to linger soggily directly at the edge of the pool or stand in cold lake water with numb feet and a sweaty brow. You can back off just a bit, let the kids have some freedom and you can enjoy a cool drink on your lounge chair (granted, near the edge of the pool or right at the ocean’s waterline). At some point, you are even throwing your kids into the pool or telling them to go swim (and by extension to leave you alone while you read your book). I am happily in that magic zone.
Then I got a puppy. Now I know intellectually that dogs can swim, but our dog had not ever had the chance yet and I was a mixture of concerned curiosity as to how the first time would go. I envisioned a planned event with me right there, knee deep in some cold body of water, and the dog would happily splash in and start swimming. Well that’s not how it turned out – never does.
It had been raining for two days straight with four more days of light to heavy rain forecast. I had been lazy and not been down to our little boat at the local marina for the first few days of rain. I also had not put the boat cover on the boat and had reached the point where the gnawing pressure of responsibility overpowered my natural inclination to blow it off. So, grab the dog and off we go for a quick trip down the road to the marina. Now it was not raining when I left the house, and was drizzling a bit when I parked at the marina, but the dog and I got out and headed down the dock with all intention of this being a quick, 1-2-3 trip. By the time I get to the boat, it is raining. The dog does not want to get into the boat and I don’t want to fight about it, so I tied her off to a cleat and went onboard. Now this is a small boat with no cabin so setting up the cover is a simple thing, but there is one part where I usually stick my head under the canvas cover to stick a support pole in the right spot. As I am under the cover fiddling with the pole, I hear a strange sound, not the ever increasing rain hitting the canvas. It was more of a slow thump, thump, and thump.
I lifted my head up and in the now pouring rain realize no dog. I climbed onto the dock and found her swimming between another boat and the dock where I had tied her off. Luckily the current was slack and she was not pushed under the dock or between the boat and the dock to be smushed. So I run over and grab her by the collar and yank het out of the water. So now the dog is looking at me drenched and standing in the rain as if to say, “This was fun, do you have any other bright ideas?”
As I drove home with the now sodden and wet dog smelly pooch in the back, I smiled as I realized of course she can swim and she didn’t need me to be there to hold her leash – just like the kids.