Saturday, June 6, 2009

Swimming Lessons

The waiting game comes free with many unplanned days.
In a lot of ways, this is an amazing relief! Especially in recalling the hectic semester that wrapped up just a month ago. Working from 7:30am-10pm before landing face first in bed to get up and do it again vs. the new... wake up at 8am and contemplate for an hour about whether I should make my own coffee or go pay for some somewhere... paying for it requires somewhat appropriate clothing so I generally opt for making it at home...

Following that (possibly the toughest decision of most days) the world (or.. Ames) becomes my oyster! Generally I "play bikes" which includes things such as deep cleaning my road bike, coming up with new things for Madeline,

pimping out Jared's mt. bike... oh oh! I weeded the back patio the other day and cleaned out the garage yesterday!

Recently a new "to do" has been working with Luda on swimming. Despite him being mostly Lab... he is not yet confident in his ability to swim. Last summer was... we tried, we tried So hard to get this guy into the water... Without much success.

This year, we're hoping for a new slate. Kris and I took him to Big Creek park one day where he was FASCINATED by the bubbles in the water. He charges in after them with his mouth wide open... to be disappointed again and again and again and again and again and again that... it is just water.

A few days later I took him out to Peterson Pits and I realized the trick Might just lie in his desire to fetch sticks. He loves sticks. Loves them. He'll chase his tennis balls for a short while, tug on a rope for about 2 minutes with you, puts his nose up at any squeeky toy, and could care less about Kongs (even if filled with peanut butter!)... but you show this guy a stick.........

And he'll swim a few strokes.

It is a fine line, though. If you throw the stick Too far, he's too chicken to grab it, but if it is juuuust out of his reach by a foot or two, he'll take the daring leap after it and doggy paddle back for about....5 seconds.

Its a start.
And more-so it puts teaching/parenting in a somewhat new perspective. Wanting sooo badly for someone(errr someThing) who you care about succeed. And when they do succeed... there aren't many feelings like that! Luda may be a dog... but his tail wags a little bit further to each side when he brings back the stick that he originally thought was thrown too far for him.

Jared and I are going to take him out again today... maybe he'll start wanting to swim without having to have something to chase.


Cycle Ninja said...

"There are few things in life more affectionate than a wet dog."
--Mark Twain.

Much love.

anand jay said...

It really is amazing how similar it can be to parent an animal and a human child--a lot of the same kinds of listening/watching, guiding without forcing, and then just stepping back. Different, of course, in many ways, but a lot is the same.

And those photos are beautiful (as always)!