Monday, July 30, 2012

Before you can swim, you have to get your paws wet!

If you have ever read Albert Payson Terhune's books, about his Sunnybank collies, you know that HIS collies seemed to enjoy swimming. The Place was comprised of 40 acres, and located on a fire-blue lake. The house was Victorian, with wide porches, covered with Wisteria. The collies would romp and play across the lawns, through the woods, and they would swim in the lake. Now I believed this meant collies enjoyed swimming. But I have discovered that this isn't actually true. Some collies may enjoy plunging into a lake or ocean, they may enjoy the feel of the water as they paddle with all four paws through the cool depths. But most do not like swimming at all. I had a golden retriever, Chloe, who loved the water. She would never turn down an opportunity to jump in for a swim...collies, not so much.

Maybe Terhune's collies enjoyed swimming because back in the 1920's and 30's they didn't have a little something called air conditioning. So the only way for a collie to cool off during the hot summer months was to jump in a lake. But collies have now become spoiled...

 Me: "Hey Abby, want to go down to the beach and go for a swim?"
Abby: "No thanks, I'm just going to lay here on the couch, in front of this air conditioner, and nap. Can you put a Lassie movie on for me? Oh, and could you get me a Frosty Paws while you are up? Thanks-bye"

Still, I think all dogs should be introduced to the concept of swimming. (Who knows, I might yet discover a collie who actually loves to swim!) Since we are working on socializing Scarlett, by introducing her to new people, places and things, it seemed like as good a time as any to take her to the beach. We invited Holly along, but not because we thought Holly might encourage Scarlett to swim, Holly has no interest in swimming. It was just her turn to go for a ride in the car.

My daughter, Scarlett and Holly had fun, running and playing in the sand.

And Scarlett graciously agreed to pose for some pictures.

But then it was time for swimming. And her natural instincts had her paddling immediately…straight for shore. She proved she can swim, but will she every view it as something enjoyable? I don't think so...I think she'd rather chase sheep - on nice solid ground! Guess we can't all be swimmers!


  1. Neither Essex or Sherman like the water. Never could get them to go for a swim.

    1. We take them swimming when they are young, and while they will do it, I can't say they love it. Which is a shame, because we are two blocks from the beach!

  2. Some collies we have had love the water.. others not so much so..... interesting isnt it.....

    1. I wish ours enjoyed it more. We live near the beach, and if they like swimming we could take them all the time.