Friday I tried to coax Buddy into the pool using cheese. Cheese is a powerful land based incentive, but useless I discovered while standing chest deep in water oohing and aahing over the taste of Colby cheese slices. All he did was bark, whine and circle the pool voicing his displeasure I was only giving him tiny nibbles if he came close to the pool edge. I probably taught him that.
Saturday I decided the boys needed some more toys, one that Buddy could call his own. Went to a big box pet store and as we started down an aisle with interesting smells and temptations at nose level I noticed a women at the other end of the aisle looking at small toys. She squeezed one of the toys and it gave out a squeak. Jack found the interesting smells more interesting than the squeak, but Buddy was all ears and dragged me down the aisle. She did not notice Buddy as she continued to squeak the various toys until he sat down next to her and touched her leg with his nose and looked up at her very alert. She was embarrassed that she had distracted Buddy, but she was actually quite helpful. I now knew Buddy loves squeaky things.
One of the store people came over and gave both dogs several treats and when I told the clerk we were looking for a durable squeaky toy suitable for water retrieves. She led us to the next aisle, pulled down a Kong air stick, squeaked it and presented it to Buddy. She had him at Squeak. His ears went alert, his eyes got big and he stared at it briefly as if he had discovered a here to for unknown but important relic from the past. It was on a cardboard backing but he carefully took one end and held it and handed it to me. The clerk took it from me while talking about the virtues of other toys as she leaned down to put it back on the hook but Buddy took it from her as if saying no, we want that. Have the fat guy write a check.
Back at the pool Buddy was not real thrilled when I threw it into the pool and did his usual circle. That is until the house guest golden retriever Allie jumped in and started for it. He was in the pool with the most spectacular air dive never caught on camera and beat her to it.
He now readily leaps into the pool from the steps just like Jack only he puts his rear toes on the front lip of the top step and launches himself upward and outward while Jack just steps off.
Unfortunately, Buddy is now just a water receiver. He does a great job retrieving, even goes about 6 inches underwater for it, takes it back to the ladder and out of the pool where he then goes to a remote corner of the deck and drops the squeaky. He sometimes picks it up and drops it while looking at me to convey the thought he wants me to come over and pick it up and throw it back in the pool.
It took me 15 months to get Jack to retrieve a can of beans to my hand. Hopefully it will not take as long to get Buddy to really retrieve.
One step at a time at least he is getting into the water.
Karon and Cinnamon
Great post and nice form on that dive, Buddy!
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
Erns is a fish in a Labs coat, but when it came to getting him in the pool he was the same. I still have to through a squeaky in to get him in. Then I pull up the ramp so he can't get out and hide the squeaky before he swims happily. funny dogs. lol
What a wonderful story! I loved the part where he didn't want the store clerk to put it back. I was laughing out loud! I hope he enjoys his new found activity. The retriever part will come along..... just have fun getting there! Great job Buddy!!
Love JL. Justlabradors.com!!!
Good job buddy -
I love the way you tell a story.
That was great!
Great dive by Buddy! I liked the story too. I was out getting pool supplies this weekend and I was surprised to see that they had little squeeze toys there for dogs. I never thought that they'd carry them but they did.