Friday, April 26, 2013

W is for Water Loathing

This is not Baxter.
This is my friend's awesome dog in Florida.
The scene is this: it's hot outside.

The kind of hot where you'd peel your clothes off and lay naked under a fan, but somehow the light cotton is keeping you more cool than if you were naked. So you lay in bed because it's too hot to do anything else.

You're sweating in places you didn't know existed. You have one goal: get to a large, cold, body of water.

And bring the dog, because he's panting and drooling rivers all over the floor.

You arrive at the local pool/ocean/river and you and the dog do cannonballs. You swim until your lips turn blue. You come home and the warmth that once was heat is reassuring. You crawl into bed and Fido sleeps beside you. It was a wonderful day.


Most dogs love water. I've seen videos of dog jumping contests (legit, people throw toys, dogs run after and leap off something like a diving board. Amazing.) When I decided to steal Baxter back, I figured we'd live on a beach. I'd get a tandem kayak. He'd ride up front, I'd paddle from the rear. When we got really ambitious, we'd paddleboard. But we'd be in the water.

He'd play fetch on the beach as the sun set. He'd swim in waves with me and smell of salt.

Instead, the reality is this:

Yep. He's standing close enough to notice it's raining
and yet not get wet. He wouldn't budge.
If it's raining Baxter will go DAYS without going potty. He will slip his collar at the mountain and seek shelter if there's a light sprinkle. He will run from ocean waves. He will manipulate his body weight when you try to give him a bath so that you and your mother will be covered in bruises until she looks at you and says, "I'm giving up. We can't do this." It will always take more than one person to bathe him.

When we lived in Gilead, we lived about a mile from a nice swimming hole. Just before we left, Baxter slowly started making his way into the water...just to his paws, never quite so far as to fully have to swim. It was progress, and I was so proud of him. (And like a bad owner, I may have pushed him further than he meant to go. :) ).

One of the proudest moments of my life!
Though he's a good dog, he has a few flaws. I can deal with the not listening when there's another cat or dog around. Or having to put him in time out from time to time. But the fact he HATES water? Really?

I'm not sure I can forgive something like that...


  1. How strange! I don't think I've ever heard of a dog that didn't like water ... well, at least the non-soapy bath type.

    1. Yea, he'd be perfect if he'd just be brave and jump in!


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