So I had this crazy idea that I wanted Spanky to learn to swim. My logic was as follows: any mastiff who lives long enough is probably going to get arthritis. So I thought, wouldn’t it be great to introduce swimming when Spanky is young so that when he is older, he can enjoy the therapeutic aspects of it? Plus, I figured Spanky was just bold enough and nosy enough to be teach-able in this way.
I don’t think I’ve even mentioned that my nut-puppy, who will stick his head into the dryer, the refrigerator, the shower (while I’m in it), the sprinklers and the hose… will not put his Princess paws into a puddle. That’s right. After a rain, this puppy will walk all the way around to avoid getting his paws wet. So I figured this might be a challenge.
I looked online and I found a place that is pretty close to us: The Canine Fitness Center
in Crownsville, MD and I made an appointment.
I was surprised how large the pools were, since I thought they looked like two little wading pools in the photos online:
The Canine Fitness Center Pools
I think we were both a little anxious at first. Me, because I really wanted it to go well and I really had no idea what to expect. I think Spanky was feeding off of me a bit as place was like nowhere else he had ever seen before, but as always, he walked into this new situation with such enthusiasm! He was happy that the lobby was fully of toys and people happy to pet him.
Waiting in the lobby
The first step was getting fitted for a life jacket.
Our trainer, Seth was very patient and encouraging with Spanky, who needed a little coaxing to get into the pool. But once he was in, I was surprised and so pleased by how well Spanky did! He swam around the pool like a champ.
Getting to know Seth, the Trainer
No way, Jose
I'm outta here!
First steps in the pool
Incredibly, this boy never once tucked his tail. I’m constantly amazed by how willing Spanky is to try new things. The dogs stay on a long lead at first to keep them from trying to climb out the side of the pool, but after only two laps, Seth set Spanky free and he just followed me around the pool, swimming free. What a brave puppy!
Life with Spanky is FUN and the video from his Swimming Adventure are at the end of this clip: