If you had asked me yesterday morning at 10am what I wanted to do, I would not have said "go for a swim in the canal behind our house". But that is exactly what I ended up doing. Why, you ask? Let me explain…
I think that I have mentioned that we had a doggie ramp put in out back in the hopes that Ellie might like the water. Well, up until Thursday evening, she had only sniffed around it a bit. She definitely showed interest, but had not ventured down it.
Thursday evening, she got brave and went about half way down before coming back up, much to the enjoyment of the boys. She seemed to want to take it slow. So Monday morning, Kyle and I were out with Ellie in the backyard and she suddenly got brave…going down to the bottom and sniffing the water and then backing back up. Kyle ran to get Jason so that he could watch in case she went in.
Next, Ellie went down and put her paws in the water, getting really brave! However, as she backed up the ramp, she slipped and fell in! We quickly learned that she could indeed swim (we had been told by the previous owners that she could). However, she decided to swim away from the doggie ramp and under the dock! We tried for about a minute to call her back, but it became obvious that she was not going to come. So telling the boys to keep an eye on her, I ran inside stripping as fast as I could to get into my bathing suit (if I thought that she was in dire trouble, I would have jumped in clothes and all, but as it was she was doing a mean doggie paddle, albeit in the wrong direction, and I was sure that she could survive).
Came back out and found that she had made it a fair way down the bulkhead. Realized that I was indeed going to have to go in (despite the fact that it was cold!) So I went down the doggie ramp (too far for me to jump off the dock) and luckily found it fairly shallow and that the bottom was not as gross as I had expected. Swam a ways over to grab her (while our neighbor across the canal looked on from where he had been fishing) and carried/swam with her back to the doggie ramp where I showed her how to go up.
The boys, needless to say, were jumping up and down the whole time and found it all great fun. Jason found it funny (once he realized that she could swim). Kyle found it "scary and funny". And I think that they both got a kick out of me jumping in.
By the time I got Ellie out, she was running on pure adrenalin and went into major psycho puppy mode…running round and round the yard, back and forth, stopping here and there to give herself a good shake. I really wish that I had my camera there to catch her drowned puppy look after she got out, but I did not think to grab it in all the excitement.
So far, she has not ventured back out on the doggie ramp, however she still shows a lot of interest in the water and I have a feeling that it is only time before she tries again (she saw a dog across the canal today and I was sure she was going to make a leap for it!) Now I just need to figure out how to teach her how to get back out. Luckily she is a smart dog and hopefully she will figure it out quickly.
At least I hope so! I really do not have any desire for more early morning dips in the canal. In any case, now that I know that the canal is not that deep, I may just send one of the boys!