Saturday, 8 September 2007

swimming and bellywhacking into the water

Penny has enjoyed the water ever since she was a tiny puppy. I can remember being in the park one literally freezing morning, just after a winter's sunrise. Penny was about six months old. We were walking towards the Darebin Creek across the glittering frost that covered the grass and I was wondering if her little paws were getting chillblains. Then she was off to the creek and into the water...

And that set the pattern for our walks. It's rarely that she doesn't wade into the creek and look hopefully back at me as if to say, 'Well, aren't you going to throw the ball/stick/toy?'

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It all changed when we went on an excursion with the Kintala Dog Club to the Kepala Canine Country Club. In the pool there Penny learned to do bellywhackers. That's why I feel sure she would love the Dockdogs sport - or, Jettydogs, as they call it in the UK - if it ever got going here.

The trouble is, my heart is in my mouth every time we wander along the banks of an unfamiliar part of the creek or the Yarra River. I'm alert to make sure she doesn't take a sudden dive off the edge into the water. I remember my Mum's admonitions to never dive into unfamiliar water - too much risk of landing on an underwater branch. My Mum always referred to these as 'snags'.

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