Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Home from the Cottage

We're back. And the dogs had a ball.

Everyday, they walked the dirt roads with either Don or me for a minumum of three miles, sometimes more. They spent a good 30 minutes daily in the water, retrieving and swimming and having fun. And they all took to water like they'd been raised on it.

This was Elsie's first time swimming. She's been wading before, but never had to swim to support her weight. At the cottage, she has to swim if she wants to retrieve.

At first, she flapped her front paws high in front of her, splashing like crazy as she went along. But Baxter, our experienced and graceful swimmer, swam alongside her gliding effortlessly through the waves. And Elsie seemed to observe him and started keeping her paws beneath the surface. By the end of her second or third swimming session, she learned that keeping her paws beneath the surface of the water helps her to swim more easily, expends less energy, and propels her faster than flailing on the surface. She eventually swam fast enough (and smooth enough) to keep up with the boys.

Baxter is our best swimmer: strong, smooth, confident--he glides through the water barely making a sound. Ridge swims well, too, but his style holds more braun and less finesse. He gets the job done, but not as gracefully as Baxter.

And all three would swim 'til they dropped (or drowned) if we let them. After only about twenty minutes, all three showed signs of fatigue; they were wearing out. So we only swam them 30 minutes a day (twice one day).

And they're sleeping now (which I suspect they'll do much of for the next three days). They had a very active weekend: far more active than the norm here at home.

They love the water, as retrievers do. And they love the outdoors. I thankful we have a place we can take them to where they can enjoy the water as they've been bred to do. I just wish we lived on water year round.

Now, if only we could get them to jump off the dock! I'll give you more on that adventure tomorrow. :o)

'Til next time,

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