Toby the World's Only Sinking Labrador actually swam today!
OK, so Mark Spitz he isn't... quite yet, anyway.* Some of you may remember my post on the old board about how on Toby's first outing to the dog park, he capsized and sank like a rock.* But we took him out to the dog park today (side note to Duke's Dad, sorry we missed you we were running a little behind schedule today), and it's about 90 F and sunny in Houston today, so the dog pond was a pretty popular place.* As per normal, Toby splashed at the edges, lapped at the water, and stood on the bank waiting for his float to drift to where he could pull it close with a paw before grabbing it, making sure that he always had three feet on solid ground.* He also ran around with the other dogs like the little nutcase he is, and watched from the shallows while the other labs splashed, jumped, and rollicked into the deep water, swam out, and retrieved toys (including his).
After about 40 minutes of this and an encounter with a very large mastiff who had dominance issues, we moved over to the quieter side of the pond.* I don't know what finally clicked, maybe it was meeting and being compared with the labradoodle puppy who wouldn't even dampen his paws and thus needed showing up, but suddenly there was this little brown head moving across the water in a manner that could only suggest that all four paws were paddling, not walking.* Hmm, that was kind of fun.* Better try again... yep, that works, maybe just a little farther next time... All in all, three passes of about 20 - 25 feet in distance.* And he still has to get in very (very, very) slowly, no crashing into the water at high speed, and he seems to only be able to master one skill at a time, he didn't quite manage to both swim and retrieve his float, but no matter, this was progress!
The way we carried on with him, you'd have thought we won the lottery or something.* Duh, labrador, swimming, what's the big deal?* A little embarrassing, in fact, especially when the labradoodle's owner, who was there with his young son, turned to us and said, "You two don't have kids, do you?"* *Uh, no, why do you ask?
Of course, the Triumphant Tob-inator then decided to tear around in the dirt with a racing beagle, and was then completely oblivious to the fact that another very friendly older chocolate lab came over and was fetching Toby's toy.* At least there was someone to get the toy back from the middle of the pond, I can't say that either of us relished the idea of going to get it.* Oh, well, he'll learn.* He is only 4.5 months old, after all.