Now I know the owner of the dog in this story probably isn’t laughing but for some reason this story struck me as terribly funny…. a dog that can’t swim!! And surprisingly enough, like River’s owner, I find that’s it’s not a totally uncommon phenomenon. But as I read along I could just picture the scenes and had to laugh so read away and hopefully you will enough as I did. Who knows, maybe one day River will get the hang of it!

From the San Marcos Daily Record

Dog’s name, River, is becoming an ironic label

By Bart Isley
Daily Record Staff

San Marcos – My dog’s name, River, is in grave danger of becoming an ironic label. It turns out I named a dog that can’t swim after a body of water.

As a good dog owner and San Marcos resident, I, of course, wanted to take my dog to the river and let her swim, chase tennis balls and do other dog stuff. Too bad that it turns out River may be the first ever dog that doesn’t have the doggy paddle ingrained in her DNA.

That’s why I’ve found myself, on my last two trips to the river, giving my dog what I think may be the first ever canine swimming lessons.

I figured I wouldn’t have to teach swimming until I have a kid, and then I can enroll him in proper lessons so he learns not to take shortcuts.

Of course, public pools won’t take seven-month old Irish Setters into their swimming tutorial programs and I wouldn’t pay for it anyway. That left me, River’s hefty owner, to handle the process of teaching her how to swim.

And, frankly, it’s been a disaster.

It was a major coup when I taught this dog to sit and shake, I was pretty proud of myself and the dog of course, but mostly myself. Teaching River how to swim in the crystal clear waters of the San Marcos, however, has been another challenge entirely.

She’s afraid of the water to start, so she spends the first five minutes of our excursion backing up from the banks as I try and pull her in. Eventually she tumbles into the water with a lot of splashing and general panic. It sounds like I’m torturing her but I’m not — the dog can stand up in the water.

Her immediate response though is to find me amidst the turmoil and use me as a makeshift dock, which results in several long scratches in various places on my body. Once I swim away from her and she is forced to make her way to me, though, is win the fun really begins.

Her fatal swimming flaw is that she doesn’t use her back legs, she just sort of walks them along the bottom and splashes wildly with her front legs to keep her head above water. It’s a rollicking good time for everyone.

On our last trip, River’s antics drove one Spanish-speaking family out of the water and onto the grass. Of course, the mother of the family tried to use River as a motivational tactic for her seven- year-old son that was afraid of the water, claiming that if the seven-moth old dog can get in the water, than surely, with floaties, he can too.

“Si el perro puede nadar tu puedes tambien. Solamente siete meses!”

At least that’s what my fiance heard when several of the mom’s other kids fled the water as River began her assault on the record for most perplexing dog in the history. After 30 minutes or so of trying to get River to kick her back legs (I’m convinced it would just take one time and she’d see the light) I gave up once again and got out of the water, resigned to the fact that I may have a land-bound dog.

Once I got home, I Googled “dog can’t swim,” a desperate plea of an Internet search if I’ve ever heard one. It turns out some people are using a canine swim therapist to fix their own dog’s aversion to water.

It looks like my dog won’t ever swim, because I’m not paying for swim therapy. It’s a dog. Her name can just stay ironic and she can stay on solid ground.

Be Sociable, Share!
Email This Post Email This Post

Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!