Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Pinot and Kenya: Swimming Report from Day 1

What a breed!

I'll tell ya, there's nothing like a Labrador retriever and water. :o)

Here's how Kenya and Pinot did this weekend (I'll save Tuc for a separate entry, and remember, Elsie and Ridge didn't go with us this time):

KENYA SWIMMING: On our first day at the lake, Kenya ran right out onto the dock, trotted to the dock's end, looked out at the water, then galloped back to the shore where she immediately jumped in. She wasn't retrieving (we hadn't thrown anything); she just felt like swimming, and swim she did:

She, of course, couldn't wait to retrieve. She's just incredibly smooth in the water, almost as if she glides through without making a ripple.

PINOT DISCOVERING HOW TO SWIM: Not to be outdone, Pinot jumped in right behind Kenya, though the Pinot Squirt had never been in more than four inches of water before (hehe). The water's depth didn't phase her; she just plowed in. These are her first attempts at navigating lake water:

It took her some time, but Pinot eventually figured out she could be faster and more effective in the water if she kept her butt up (her back nearly horizontal) and her front paws beneath the surface. She still, however, liked to keep her head up high.

Bless her heart, when we first tossed a dummy for her and Kenya to retrieve, Pinot was so eager to get to it before Kenya, she whimpered and whined and flailed away at the water while Kenya glided effortlessly past:

Pinot eventually learned to catch up and the two of them would carry the dummy back together, Kenya stabilizing Pinot's stroke all the way:

Eventually Kenya just let Pinot carry it on her own (I'd swear Kenya was teaching her):

KENYA JUMPING OFF THE DOCK: Last year, Kenya leaped from the shoreline, but this weekend we got her to jump from the dock. Next we'll work on a running jump off the dock, but for now we're thrilled she was willing to leap from the dock's edge. Water is so low at the lake this summer that the water rests a full three feet below the decking. That's a pretty high edge from which to jump.

OVERALL: By our second day there (Sunday), Pinot had matured considerably in her stroke, Kenya continued to astound us, and Master Tuc seemed to acclimate quite well.

I'll post Tuc's stages of learning to swim in Wordless Wednesday (tomorrow) and will provide shots of Pinot's greatly-improved skill on Thursday.

In the meantime, know that all three did fabulously. Here's one of my favorite shots from the weekend (yup, that's Tuc on the left, then Pinot, then Kenya -- and look, no splash!):

What a crew!

Check back tomorrow for Tuc's learning-to-swim adventure!

'Til then,


Thoughts said...

OMG those are some GRRR-eat pictures! I love watching labs so enthusiastic about swimming. Its like they were born to do it or something. I love the action shots! FABULOUS pictures. That's my favorite thing about your blog - you always have the best pictures! I posted a few of my boys too if you want to stop by and visit us again sometime soon!


Theresa said...

Joan, All 3 of them look fabulous! I am going to have to get my guys to the stock ponds! Talk to you soon!

Mary said...

Kenya and Pinot are obviously BFFs. I think it's sweet and special and most of all heart warming to see how well Kenya takes care of Pinot. : ) What a good big sister!

Joan said...


Yup...Labs are born to swim. Having webbed toes helps, of course (and Labs do have webbed toes). :o) Swimming is part of what they were originally bred for and still seems to be part of their design.

As for pictures, I'm playing with a new lens on my camera, so the cottage trip gave me the opportunity to try to figure things out (how fun!). I took over a thousand pictures, about 50 of which are good! :o) I'm still sorting, though.

Thanks for stopping by; I'll stop by today sometime to visit you and your gang!

It's always great to hear from you.


Joan said...


If you take your gang to the stock ponds, you GOTTA let me know how Copper does. :o)

Hang in there... you've got your hands full!


Joan said...


You're so right... Kenya is incredibly sweet with Pinot (and was incredibly tolerant of Pinot's earlier puppy antics). They are best buds! :o) We couldn't have asked for better girls! :o)

Thanks for commenting!


Anonymous said...

Dear Pinot,
I may be human, but I like keeping my head way out of the water when I swim, too. Keeps the hairdo, um, fur, lookin' good. We all can't be Michael Philips after all, rite?

Keep up the great work!

A Fan

JuliaR said...

Ah, the bottom-heavy Labrador paddle! Love it!