Friday, September 26, 2008

Lives are Saved


Saved the lives of my pups, that is. After work today I took the dogs to the pet store and picked up an extra-large Outward Hound hunter orange life vest, and we headed out to Shadow Cliffs. It was a hot afternoon and by the time we got down to the creek Mac was very thirsty. He headed to the nearest break in the shore brush and leaned in to take a sip, and promptly went @$$ over tea kettle into the water. I laughed, then dropped my backpack and and the life vest to run over and haul him out. Most of the shoreline is a drop of about a foot at the water's edge, too high for Mac to pull himself out on his own. Mac seemed happier, cooler, and otherwise unharmed after the incident so we headed on.

Once we got to the beach and both Ayla and Mac had drank about a gallon each of lake water each (hello, giardia!) I strapped the life vest on Mac. I had to encourage him to go out to deeper water since he's been used to knowing where to stop, but he quickly understood that swimming was now a breeze and tug-boated his way all over:

He enjoyed being able to go after Ayla when she fetched a ball and puttering around weightless in the water. The only difficulty he had is trying to pick up the ball out of the water. He always closes his mouth too soon and the resulting wave pushes the ball another four inches forward. Imagine that happening a dozen times or so until he nabs the ball by luck.


Once Mac was tired from swimming I put the life vest on Ayla. She loved it! She would swim out nearly as far as any of the labs I've seen out there and really seemed to like tooling around in the water.

Ayla in the shallows

She looks so Dobe-like here!

I had to keep bringing Mac back from swimming after Ayla. He was forgetting that he wasn't wearing the vest and would go into deeper water without a thought. You'll hear me laugh a little toward the end of this next video because that's exactly what I was doing:

I need to buy another life vest since they both seem to enjoy it so much. The extra-large is a little long for Mac, so I'd like to find a large for him instead, maybe in yum-yum yellow. He'll be needing it on Sunday (blog to come!), so I hope I can find one tomorrow.

Just look at that mug!


Michelle Ioapo A'etonu said...

what a fun day! now if I could only get my dog even near the water, that life vest would sure come in handy. are Shepherds just not meant to swim or something??

Misty said...

I can't say I've ever seen a Shepard swimming, but Dobermans and Bulldogs aren't known as swimmers either. Maybe she needs a role model! Or you can go in the water and coax her to you - that's what I did with Ayla when she was little.