Monday, June 8, 2009

Let's go swimming!

Be careful what you say around my house in earshot of Baxter. The word "swimming" is forbidden unless you actually mean it. Say "wanna go swimming," and you have an extremely excited blue heeler who is bouncing and ready to head out to the creek.

I'm so lucky. I live a few steps away from a cold, spring-fed creek. I've been known to spend hot summer days with a chair set in the creek, soaking my feet in the cold water and filling my head with whatever book I'm reading at the moment.

Baxter, on the other hand, is a man of action. Swimmin' in the creek is serious business for him. If you have a ball or a stick to throw, all the better -- he'll launch himself off the creek banks and into the water & bring it back for another round. And another. And another. I've learned to throw things up creek and into the deep water to make him swim upstream and into the deep water. But he never seems to tire!

This weekend, I started training Baxter to dive. Yes, you read that right: Dive. He's not quite sure he likes the idea of sticking his whole head underwater to retrieve a toy. Right now, he'll stick his nose in and blow bubbles or make a quick poke into the water, but he won't completely submerge himself. Instead, he'll make like a raccoon and pull the toy into shallower water with his paws. Smart or stubborn? Bad owner? Whatever -- it's great fun! Hopefully, Baxter will forgive me someday for making him do stupid tricks.

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