Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Another fun swim day

Saturday afternoon at the dog park on Mercer Island. Much less crowded this week and a little easier to get Lady focused on retrieving the tennis ball thrown in the lake. She still gets overly excited when other dogs are retrieving, barking and having a good time. She wants to charge at them; whether they are on land or swimming in the lake. She is not mean about it, just overbearing to the point the other dogs feel they must defend themselves. We moved away from the crowd and found a deserted spot where she could swim and retrieve without encountering other excitable dogs. We just have to find her balanced, socialized dogs to spend time with so she does not feel the need to throw herself rudely into the middle of every "dog situation" she encounters.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A dog's prayer

Treat me kindly, my beloved master, for no heart in the world is more grateful for kindness that the loving heart of me.

Do not break my spirit with a stick, for though I lick your hand between the blows, your patience and understanding will more quickly teach me the things you would have me do.

Speak to me often, for your voice is the world’s sweetest music, as you must know by the fierce wagging of my tail when your footstep falls upon my waiting ear.

When it is cold and wet, please take me inside, for I am now a domesticated animal, no longer used to bitter elements. And I ask no greater glory than the privilege of sitting at your feet beside the hearth. Though had you no home, I would rather follow you through ice and snow than rest upon the softest pillow in the warmest home in all the land, for your are my god, and I am your devoted worshiper.

Keep my pan filled with fresh water, for although I should not reproach you were it dry, I cannot tell you when I suffer thirst.

Feed me clean food that I may feel well to romp and play and do your bidding to walk by your side, and stand ready, willing and able to protest you with my life should your life be in danger.

And, beloved master, should the Great Master see fit to deprive me of my health or sight, do not turn me away from you. Rather, hold me gently in your arms as skilled hands grant me the merciful boon of eternal rest….and I will leave you knowing with the last breath I drew, my fate was ever safest in your hands.

Look everybody, I really do love to swim

Another warm and sunny summer weekend in Seattle. A perfect time to introduce Lady to our favorite dog park on Mercer Island. There were about a dozen dogs there, most retrieving on the large grass lawn or in Lake Washington. This is our first adventure with Lady where she is exposed to many other dogs. She handled it as well as can be expected. We've seen that she is awkward with her dog greetings, but warms up quickly if offense is not taken. She immediately hooked up with two very balanced dogs belonging to one of the regulars, Chris. One of his dogs is a rescued Pit/Lab mix and the other is a Golden. They were fetching up tennis balls in the lake. There was an extra ball that we used for Lady. Her first dive in was quite funny. She splashed around with only her front paws as if she had forgotten how to swim. A minute later she righted the ship and swam off slowly but steady to retrieve her ball. After about 20 or so tosses into the lake, it was time to call it a day. I hated to stop, but I did not want to over-do it. I know what it's like being a weekend warrior! Lady was delighted to be swimming, playing and in the company of other dogs. I can't say enough about how socially at ease Chris' two dogs were. They really helped Lady make a smooth transition from "barky-face pain in the butt" to a "dog park diva". Can't wait for the next swimming and/or dog park adventure. Lady really loved this and badly needs the socialization practice. What a joy to be able to give her what she needs to be a complete, balanced girl.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Day at the beach

There have been signs that as a Golden Retriever, Lady may not be an enthusiastic water dog. Now that the weather has turned, it's time to go to the beach and see her in action. Richmond Beach park was our destination on a sunny but cool Saturday. The tide was out and we had to walk awhile to find a suitable spot for Lady to be off-leash. As usual, the minute she is off-leash and given the OK, she is off and running, sniffing and marking. After 15 minutes of exploring, she never even gave the water a second look. I walked down to the waterline and Lady followed. She was quite willing to walk through the lapping waves, but that's about it. She was much more interested in other dogs way off in the distance. A good time was had by all and Lady only got her paws wet the whole time. The following weekend would prove she was just waiting for the right moment to swim.
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