You smell like wet dog!

June 1st, 2012 11:24 am by Kelly Garbato

2012-05-28 - Mags Swimming - 0018 [cropped]

It was in the 90s over the holiday weekend, so I took Mags – along with some of the other dogs – swimming in the pond (therapy for Mags,* experimental for the others). She’s a good little swimmer, but she hates the water; I have to carry her out and, if I don’t hold onto her, she swims right for the shore and escape. (Ironic, that, given that she and Fin are from District 4, the fishing district!) She picked up the doggy paddle right away; lift her out of the water, and she’ll keep going for a few more strokes, mid-air. (So cute!) Given that’s she’s all of ten pounds, Mags is easy enough to hold up, but I ordered a life jacket online to make things easier. It has a handle on top, so I can carry her like a hand bag! (Joking. But not really.) I’ll have to wait until next week to try it out, since we just hit a cold snap.

Jayne, of course, came out to where the water was over her head and swam circles around me.

Rennie is like Mags in that she can swim but would rather not. Though she did make a beeline for the pond once she saw it, wading in up to her ankles on her own. I guess a heat index of 100F will do that to a girl? So overall, Rennie isn’t quite as bad as Mags.

Ralphie’s reaction was surprising. We took him over by the shallower area that’s usually marsh (but not now), and he ran right for the water and kept on swimming to where it was over his head. He’s a natural, what with those ginormous paddles of paws, but I was worried that his head would bob under and he’d get his ears wet. And to complicate matters, he’s too long and weirdly shaped to easily hold up. I think he needs a life jacket too.

Shane brought Peedee out while I was already in the water with Mags. His face lit up and he ran for me, but stopped cold once the water got up to his chest. I carried him out further and he freaked, climbing up on top of my shoulders and scratching my arms, torso, shoulders, back. Shane said it looked like Scooby Doo jumping on top of Shaggy when he’s frightened. I couldn’t stop laughing.

Kaylee, well, I didn’t want to harass her. Kaylee gets plenty of exercise hunting for bugs at night.

And Finnick? I was afraid he’d try to bite me if I so much as picked him up. Shane will have to take him swimming – but he’ll have to learn how to swim himself, first.

2012-05-28 - Mags Swimming - 0001 [flickr]

* Some time before we adopted her, Mags sustained an injury to her right hip; possibly someone kicked or stepped on her? I’m not sure it was malevolent or even intentional, seeing as how she’s always underfoot. Also: tiny and fragile! So easy to hurt on accident! (I can’t even count the number of times I’ve almost stepped on or tripped over a dog.)

Anyway, the injury was never treated, and as a result she has limited mobility in that leg, as well as osteoarthritis. When we first met her, the muscles were so atrophied from underuse that the right leg was visibly smaller than the left. Her first few weeks with us, we had to carry her off the back patio and onto the lawn because she was incapable of navigating the 8″ paving stones (luckily, the only steps to speak of in the entire house).

Her recovery to date has been amazing: she’ll never be able to, say, jump onto the couch, but steps are a breeze. And she can keep a steady pace on walks for up to 45 minutes. Even the vets are surprised at how well she’s doing, in light of her x-rays, which show all kind of extra bone growth in her hip socket. We brought her to an orthopedic specialist last month with the expectation that he’d recommend surgery – either a total hip replacement or a procedure to scrape out the extra growths – but he suggested exercise instead. No need of surgery as long as she’s not in any pain which, thankfully, she’s not. Hence the swimming: the extra resistance provided by the water makes for a great workout, and without any stress on her limbs. So yay for that!

I might even take up swimming again. Way more pleasant than kickboxing in the summer heat. Okay, so maybe I might stink faintly of swamp water when I emerge, but that’s what showers are for.

And yeah, this is all something that should go in The Mags and Finnick Post. Which I still plan on writing. For serious! Just not today.

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2 Responses to “You smell like wet dog!”

  1. Kristiina Says:

    That is so cute! My dog hates water too. I would love to teach him to swim.

  2. The Mags & Finnick Post » V for Vegan: Says:

    […] now), where they trotted the perimeter with noses to the ground – Mags included, despite her injured back hip. (At the time we mistook her slow, rigid gait for stiffness due to the extended confinement. Alas, […]

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