How Did We End Up With Two Pool Phobic Golden Girls?

Hey It’s Jet Here.

Crazy, crazy, crazy… Two Golden Girls who didn’t get the whole swimming memo thingie!  When Mom adopted Koko back in 2005, she thought Rachel would love having a swim partner in the pool!  To be fair, Mom was pretty excited about swimming with Koko too!  Mr. Fred carried Koko in the first time and … sheer panic!  No graceful doggie paddle, oh no, Koko the calm, sweet, noble K9 clearly thought she was going to die.  For years afterwards, she would trot around the perimeter and keep the family company and that was that.

In the interim, our screen enclosure partially blew  away in Hurricane Wilma, and with biscuit money in less supply, by the time Mom tried pool swimming (as opposed to dog park pond or canal “swamp dog” swimming) with me, I was on leash.  We didn’t swim together often, however, once I learned where the steps were, I would swim a lap or two with a little “encouragement” to enter the water.

Since JJ arrived with many health issues, Dr. Schaffer didn’t clear her for swimming until two weeks ago when her ear check up went well.

In anticipation of the eventual green flag, Mom ordered two 30’ leashes from Soft Lines, to allow for more freedom and the possibility of future beach visits!

Well, Sunday was the day.  Mom decided that she would alternate swimming with me, than JJ, tying the non-swimming K9 onto the patio pole.  I went first to show JJ how swimming goes at Casa Jet.  Forgive the lack of pictures, however as you read about our adventures, you’ll see why.  We will try again when Rachel is with us.

Mom had to “help” my hind paws onto step 1, well into the pool, and then I gracefully swam the perimeter once, got out, shook (30x/min) according to!  Then it was JJ’s turn.

JJ expressed some reluctance, so, Mom talked sweetly and firmly.  She wet Little Miss Mani/Pedi’s paws and gave her a little encouragement as they both entered the pool.  JJ FREAKED OUT! Her front paws splashed wildly, while her back legs did… NOTHING causing her tush to sink.  As Mom immediately went to support her belly with her two arms underneath, JJ’s back paws got Mom in several places. (causing bruising the likes of a loser in a prizefight!) Mom cradled JJ within a minute and JJ regained equilibrium in about another minute as Mom securely held her and spoke to her.  Mom remained in this position with JJ for about 15 minutes, walking in the pool, talking to JJ, rocking her, etc…

Round 2:

We alternated turns again for round 2, Mom knowing in advance what to do for JJ.  Mom and I did 2 laps for round two which garnered (vocab building project) lots of compliments from Mom.  During JJ’s turn, somehow, JJ segued (VBP) from cradle position to overgrown toddler position!  Picture this: JJ’s front paws hugging Mom’s neck, their two cheeks touching like a slow dancing couple, and Mom cupping JJ’s tush like a toddler!  Mom laughed heartily as she remained that way for another 10 minutes or so, walking in the pool, leaning backwards to give JJ the sensation of being horizontal.  She told JJ in her special way she was safe and at moments felt JJ relax.

Turn 3:

I actually entered the pool, all four paws myself, while Mom gently tugged and used her encouraging voice to start swimming.  When I did, I felt like Jetty Phelps or Jetty Lochte with cheering crowds (Mom!) praising me while swimming my final perimeter lap and a half.   She told me the rest of the day how proud she was of my accomplishments! (picture from a few weeks ago in Neve’s pool)

JJ’s turn looked like Round 2, with the toddler pose.  Mom praised JJ for her courage.  JJ even practiced front paw doggie paddle with Mom’s belly support.

We exited the patio, enjoyed a typical spa day and passed out until mid afternoon!  Mom on the other hand, worked on the computer and in the kitchen making Persian meatballs! (saving that for a future Tasty Tuesday!)

Another great swim day.


24 thoughts on “How Did We End Up With Two Pool Phobic Golden Girls?

  1. Lori, a doggie life vest may help JJ. It has a little handle on the top that you can guide her with and it may make her feel secure, since it will keep her afloat. You can also keep her from scratching you up. I always look like a survivor from Jack the Ripper (not my Jack this time) when I teach a dog to swim. You need two people in the pool spaced a short distance apart.
    JJ should swim back an forth to you and the other person with lots a praise and treats when she gets there. Gradually increase the distance. It make take a couple of times in the pool before she feel comfortable.

  2. You have a very smart Mom, JJ will be swimming in no time with mom’s assist. Miss Delilah loves to swim but the pool flummoxes (vb) her. Sometimes she does fine such as at my sister’s pool where she fearlessly jumped in and retrieved. But then there was the time at the walking buddy’s pool not too long ago, where she wouldn’t jump in. Once she was in and had been shown the exit a time or two she was fine.

    Tell mom to keep up the good work.

  3. I have a life jacket that I wear when I get in the water and it makes me feel a bit more confident. Kuster swims like a fish, though! Blue doesn’t do water, as it’s part of nature which is not her scene. Morgan is a good swimmer, too. Hopefully JJ will get the hang of it just like you, Jetty!


    • Hey Bunny, Jet here.

      Yup, Mom thought that might help JJ, too. Great minds…

      We love to learn who likes to swim and who does not care for it… and whether it’s a breed thingie or a personal preference.

      Mom thinks maybe we should start at the bay or pond where the entry is easier.

  4. I just luv’s the willz grow on them..Guess where Humoms going tomorrowz ??? Butchers and super market..Wez havin meat loaf Muffins..Yipee xx00xx

  5. Hi sweet Jetty – just got back from work and yesterday we did a road trip visiting a college for jacob n Central Floirda all day and 2 nights this week I did orientation at jacobs school (I;m on Board of PTA) WHEW _ i can barely keep my peepers open!

    I really enjoyed this post – made me smile and laugh! good for you that you swam like an olympiad and I hope JJ gets braver each time – Cassie has been in a few times she will fetch the ball and doggie paddle back – took many times trying to coax her in but she enjoys it now -I don;t do it too often though- creates a ton of wet doggy towels as she doesn;t like to stay outside unless I;m with her so she comes in soaked like a sponge!!!

    Please be safe this weekend with the storm – sending swiming goodnight hugs and kisses to you, JJ, Mom, Rachel and Puffy xxoxoxo

    • Hey it’s Jet here. Hi Miss Wendy.

      Wowee, wow, wow, Miss Wendy, lots of college/school stuff for you this week. You are such a great MOM. xoxoxo

      Thanks for the compliment… I hope someday you can see me swim. Maybe Cassie and I could even swim together. Mom totally gets the effort it takes for swimming then spa day. If we don’t rinse or wash, we itch from the chlorine!

      Thanks Miss Wendy, stay safe yourself. Looks like you will get less stuff than we will. I’m already in Mancave #1. We’re having a short break from the downpour/booms/streaky light cycle. JJ is a mess, barking and crying in rapid succession.

      Mom was at the gas station @ 7:15, Publix @ 7?25, and WFoods @ 8:40! Mr. Fred will visit @ 2 to see what we should do.

      Sending best possible outcome thoughts, Jetty kisses and JJ hugs to you, Mr. David, Jacob, Cassie (extra for her), Rex and Barkley xoxoxoxo

  6. Awww! Full marks for perserverence mum! Flo won’t get in the pool – she’ll swim in the creek and ocean, but not the clean pool. I don’t think even floating a piggy ear off into the water would tempt her in! 🙂

    • Hey Flo, Jet here. Hi Miss Heather.

      Really? Are Ridgebacks swimmers by instinct?

      Hmmm… piggy ear huh… excuse me a moment… MOOOOMMMM… Miss Heather thinks we might try piggy ears to get me JJ in the pool! 🙂

      Maybe your new sister will like the pool?

  7. Although we go to the beach most days, I’m not overly keen on the water myself – so far I’ve never wanted to go in the sea. I don’t mind my little paddling pool in the garden when it’s hot – but that’s it for me! 🙂

    Keep well.

    Big WOOFS from Solo 🙂

    • Hey Litchi, Hey Boks, Jet here. Hi Miss Susan.

      I know, Miss Susan, it’s most odd! The only thing we can come up with is that Koko and JJ were TRAINED not to go in the pool.

      bruising is moving through the purple to yellowish green edges! We giggled too… we invite giggling, good for the soul!

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