Monday, August 6, 2012

One small step for Cosi... giant leap for Shelties everywhere!

This past weekend I took Cosi "swimming." I've been working on getting him to take that one last step into nothing where he leaves the safety of the ramp beneath his feet and goes swimming. He goes down the ramp until the water is up to his elbows, then just goes limp and hangs in the water. That's his version of swimming. I call it ABS (all but swimming). To get him out in the pool, I've had to put my arm around his ribs and encourage him to step off the ramp. Well, on Sunday he finally made that one last step on his own! I was thrilled. He made a very tight turn, and he swam back to the ramp. He has very good technique; his feet are below the surface, making steady and strong strokes.

The next time out, he swam a bit farther from the ramp. That was enough for that session. My goal this summer is to get him swimming without me in the water. I've been swimming him every week. I feel like a proud parent of a child who made it from the Guppy Group to the Dolphin Group in swimming lessons.

We are on hiatus from agility trials during August. We are still going to classes, running in the field, and going on nightly walks. We'll ramp back up for a hectic fall trial schedule come the end of the month. I'm enjoying the down time. I have a lot of body awareness exercises to work on with him (from Susan Garrett's Puppy Peaks and Contact Success classes). There are plenty of things to do in the cool confines of the house.

This month Jenny turns Big Girl 12. Her mobility is not what it should be, stiff legged and not jumping up on couches like she used to. But she is still bright as a new penny, eager to be first (her trademark move) at whatever we are doing, and begs to go on the walks at night.

Mike had a bout with an intestinal virus for two weeks. With no home remedies for diarrah working, I took him to the vet's. Two days of meds and he was back on track. He's living large on his porch, chasing the birds away from the fence and barking at my neighbor's diesel truck when he starts it--that's the "family business" Mike inherited from Brisco. Brisco used to chase the birds and bark at the truck. It's nice to see Mike keep the traditions going.

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