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!