Saturday, September 06, 2008

Splash Day at the Dog Park

Today was one of the bestest days, ever!!! The new city pool splash park teamed up with the dog park and they had a dog splash day now that the pool has closed down for the season. Truth be told, I didn't make it to the park during its inaugural year as a human to swim, but now that I've been there, I'm very impressed.

The lucky candidates to go with me today were Isabelle, Rizzo, and Rizzo's pup, Kentucky Lilly. Lilly, being only 8 weeks old, and one of the cutest pugs EVER, stole the show. She worked the crowd, following this person, chasing that dog, getting total strangers to ensure her every need was met. She could spot a "rescuer" from across the water park and make a beeline for him/her and give them the "help me, help me" look and they would sweep her up in arms full of cuddles. If I was following her, she barely knew I was there, but if I wanted someone to watch her while I went to do something, she was right behind me with them chasing saying "I tried to pick her up!!" Goofy puppy.

Rizzo was the first to try the water. They have a wonderful little ramp-type area. Humans weren't supposed to be in the pool with the dogs, but several were breaking the rules, so I went in to my ankles with her. She wanted so badly to be brave, but she ended up putting her front paws up on the back of the legs and slowly we waded out together, with her on my leg the whole time. She did ok, though, and kind of swam back a few strokes till she realized she could actually walk back out. Isabelle didn't go out that far, but she did get wet. When we started off for another area, Rizzo lost me in the crowd and ran out into the water searching for me. She found herself in way too deep in a circle of women and she was on her back legs pirouetting. They thought it was cute, but I knew she was panicking. As soon as I saw her go out, I started after her, so as soon as I was within ear range, I was asking people to pick her up. They did, thank goodness. She was in no real danger since she could still stand on her back legs, but she was definitely worried, and didn't really want to go back in the water after that, even though it turns out she's a fine swimmer!! She might have gotten over it if we had been able to stay out there with them for any length of time, but I was trying to be as good as possible for the sake of the health department :)

We continued on around the complex and watched the big, brave dogs. Their owners were throwing all sorts of things as the dogs fearlessly threw themselves into the deep end and gleefully retrieved whatever object it was. They would shake off so much water that it would drench Lilly - lol. She didn't care for that...

On the backside of the pool, where it was deeper, I tried to see if they would like to walk out onto a step where it was shallow and (for the moment) no other dogs. The adults weren't very interested, but Lilly fell into the pool. I immediately reached to drag her back out, but to my surprise, she was swimming very well. She was panicked, but she was swimming. So I held my hand over her till she got to the edge (about 4 inches and 8 puppy paddle strokes) and then lifted her out. Hoping that she would realize that she can swim and that she was ok. Well, she was pretty miffed about the whole thing. First the big dogs shaking on her, then getting her feet wet, and now her whole body??? Where was a rescuer when she needed one? Obviously this isn't what the princess had in mind.

We got to see lots and lots of other dogs. Some of our favorites were the 14-month old springer spaniel siblings, an awesome cutie scottie terrier named Duncan, a 5-month old puppy dachsund who tried really hard to keep up with everyone who ran by, a gorgeous german shepherd who enlisted me to throw his ball into the water, some beautiful golden retrievers, and many others I'm forgetting at the moment. We had a really wonderful time. The girls were totally exhausted after our 2 hour excursion and they settled into deep naps on the way home. And with all the excitement, I forgot to take pictures :( But Lilly kept me very busy with her antics and her frolicking. You just never knew which direction she was going in next. A representative from the dog park asked if she could take a pic for their web page, though. If I find it later, I'll scarf it and post it here for you all!

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