Dock diving

Yesterday our human friends Jess and Liz, and dog friends Stark and Zefra, invited Milo and I out for an adventure. It was a lovely afternoon, let’s take the dogs dock diving! Hurray dock diving!

Picture a 20 by 40 foot salt-water pool with warm, crystal clear water. A 40 foot dock, and two exit ramps, both covered in astroturf, abut a short side of the pool.

Milo takes one look at this setup and goes bonkers, pulling like an ox toward what he knows is a fun time. Ideally, I put him in a sit-stay at the far end of the doc, walk to the waters’ edge, release him, toss a toy in the water as he thunders down the dock and flings himself through the air and into the pool. I say ‘ideally,’ because that sit-stay is exceedingly difficult for a dog who is part German Shepherd and part otter.

dockdivingBut no matter how he hits the water, he swims out, retrieves the toy, swims back, hauls his panting, dripping self onto the dock and is ready to go again. Not before, of course, striking a pose, head up, chest out and grinning, at the top of the ramp giving all of us a chance to compliment his powerful jumping and excellent swimming. He’s smart, but the joy of jumping drives any sense of self-preservation out of his doggy mind, and eventually I have to force him to take a break.

dock diving 2After all the dogs had a few turns, we enjoyed a little swim together and then it was time to dry off, pile back in the van, and take ourselves home. The laughing, cheering, dog wrangling, and of course jumping, leaves everyone pooped. Well, not everyone.

As we were chatting and loading the van Milo leaned into his leash toward the pool, clearly suggesting that there might be time for another dive.

I had to remind him “Milo, you just had a long swim. You’re tired.”

But he explained, “Mom, I was tired 6 minutes ago. It is now a whole new day, and I don’t know if you remember, but there is a pool, right there. If you wouldn’t mind opening that gate, we could, you know, swim.”

I pretended not to understand, a trick he knows well.

A moment later I was distracted and Milo saw his opening. He was off! It was a full on lung toward the pool. I leaned back, and holding on to that leash like a waterski towrope left heel tracks in the gravel in the direction of the pool. Dang dog. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that he was being a bad bad boy. Once I got us both anchored again, he figured out that there was definitely no more swimming that day, and settled back into being a good dog.

One the way home we stopped for burgers and fries at a roadside stand, Milo, Stark, and Zefra laying angelic at our feet. They were happy and tired, and clearly enjoying a steady stream of fries. This is the kind of thing Saturdays were made for. When Milo and I are on the road, we are going to miss these good friends.

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