Wednesday-Bensday! Special Doggie Paddle Edition!
No, we didn’t paddle the doggie. We took the doggie up to a reservoir and taught him how to paddle around.
To truly appreciate the magnitude of this accomplishment, please take a moment to view Ben’s first attempt at swimming.
As you can see from the video, we had our work cut out for us. We were starting with zero use of back legs, which led to frantic flailing of front legs, which led to general circular movements as he desperately tried to keep his head above water just long enough to find out if the world was, in fact, ending.
This most recent swimming lesson started out no different. We put him in the water, his back end immediately sank, and the frantic front-leg flailing began. No surprises there.
The thing is, though, we could tell he really wanted to swim. He’d venture out from the shore a little ways into the water and would really really try to get a stick that was floating just beyond his reach. But since he didn’t know how to swim, he was just too afraid to risk it. (What? Ben was afraid of something? No way!)
So we braved the cold water and waded out into the reservoir with him so we could hold his back legs up to try to show him what he needed to do.
At first, he was still pretty sure he was going to die and was angrily gagging up water every time he made it to shore, regardless of whether or not he had swum successfully. But we were patient with him, letting him chase a stick and dry off a little between trips into the water. And on about the 5th attempt, he realized, “Hey! I’m not dying! This is pretty fun!”
And just like that, we had our own little Star Swimmer.
We couldn’t be more proud.
This weekend’s project: Teaching him how to start swimming from shore instead of having us carry him out a ways and letting him swim back to shore. But the ability is there. And I think he’s just as excited as we are for his next swim lesson.
And because I couldn’t possibly post swimming dog pictures without hilarious wet dog pictures, I’ll leave you to contemplate the following images on this fine Wednesday evening.