Monday, July 18, 2011

What happens when you try and teach your dog to swim??

Near our house is a large state park, there are lots of neat walking paths through the woods and a large quarry filled with water. We "discovered" this place last fall when Lily was still small enough to be carried in the front pack. A few times before it got too cold, and once after!, we took the dog there so he could run through the woods off the leash. At the time it was way too cold to even consider letting him go swimming, I sure as heck wasn't going in after him! This past weekend we decided it would be fun to go there together and see if Colby would swim. I regret that there are no pictures!!

Despite the very hot day, the lovely clear water, the gradual sandy bottom, the prospect of delicious sticks, and the eager encouragement of Dingle, the damn dog wouldn't set foot in the water. Ok, that is an exaggeration, he would literally set one foot in the water. Just when we were about to give up the biggest german shepherd I have ever seen in my life came charging down the bank and headed straight for Colby. I am not talking about Rin Tin Tin here people, this thing was a man eater. I grabbed Lily and ran for cover, again only slightly exaggerating. The owner seemed nice, also a big dude, and he offered to let his dog swim so that Colby could see how it is done. After several more minutes, and this man basically throwing my dog into the water, Colby was looking very displeased so we decided that was enough for one day. The two dogs then took off playing and Colby proceeded to roll in everything he could find, damn dog. Once the man-eating german shepherd was out of sight we tried in vain for several more minutes to encourage Colby to take a dip. Dingle even stood on a rock a few feet deep to try and lure him. Being the people-pleaser that he is, he went out on the rock and "let" Matt push him in. He didn't so much swim as slap frantically at the water with his paws. When he came out of the water he looked like a sad, skinny, ferret...wearing a soaking wet coat, three sizes to big. We decided enough really was enough and headed for the car.

Just in front of the parking lot is a big grassy area with some basketball courts. The dog was still pretty wet so we were throwing some sticks around to try and get him to dry off a little. At this point Lily wanted to be let down so I set her in the grass and she crawled off towards some clover. The next three seconds passed in slow motion. I saw the bee, I saw Lily's hand about to be set down on the bee, but there was nothing I could do. At first she didn't cry, only pulled her hand away in a surprised kind of way. I thought for a minute the bee had not stung her...and then a look of panic swept across her face. She held her breath for a moment longer and then began to howl! I scooped her up and rushed her back to the car so that I could take a look. The stinger was still stuck in her finger, poor baby. Thankfully there is a first aid kit, thank you Nissan, in the car so I was able to swipe the sting with a wipe and put some ointment on it. Dingle meanwhile googled what to look out for in terms of allergic reaction. Her poor litter finger became so swollen that she could not bend it.
She did not have any other symptoms, so we decided an ice cream would be the best medicine. Within a few minutes she had calmed down almost completely, I fed her ice cream all the way home.

So what happens when you try and teach your dog to swim, your kid gets their first bee sting!

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