Just Keep Swimming

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When you’re learning a new skill it’s better to reinforce it sooner than later, right? And so it was with Rain and swimming.

At the end of our first visit, Paws Aquatics owner Diane suggested that Rain have another swim session sooner than later. I scheduled our next session for this past weekend to continue the learning process. And since Rain hadn’t gotten quite confident enough to swim unassisted, we were once again joined by one of the supportive Paws Aquatics doggy swim experts.

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The whole affair was much more relaxed and enjoyable this time. We only had three people in the room instead of five and we all knew what to expect, more or less. Rain had some knowledge of what she was doing too. A fine time was had by all!

Rain didn’t even need a bully stick as motivation during this session. She swam around and got some treats as a reward upon her return, eventually swimming out to fetch a tennis ball or just to come to me. Or both.

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Rain still looked pretty serious while swimming. There was again a point when Rain’s face started relaxing and she looked happy. Rain never tried getting completely out of the pool, even though the shallow platform next to the ramp tended to be her home base where she felt safe. During this second session she was more willing to explore the entire pool including a deeper platform in the part of the pool she hadn’t been in previously.

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I’m happy to say that Rain is now cleared to do solo swim sessions. While I love having the swimming buddy, it’s much more costly—being cleared for solo sessions means more reasonably priced visits.

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Toward the end of our 45 minutes I started grabbing the leash fastened to her doggy PDF to provide a little resistance to her swimming. It seemed to me that she was gaining confidence and strength—and as she continues building her skills she’ll certainly start having fun.

Once back home Rain seemed calm, happy to nap much of the afternoon and evening while her coat dried out. And I was, of course, happy to focus on other projects without being interrupted every half-hour with squirrel alerts.

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