Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Swimming to build stamina

Penny's lost a lot of fitness over the last few months of recovery from surgery, so we're going to try to swim regularly.

When our vet nurse at Dogs in Motion in Doveton asked whether Penny was used to swimming, I said yes.

Well, I didn't consider a few factors:
1. Penny is now much less fit than she was six months ago.
2. This is a different situation, requiring steady laps rather than just fun in the water.
3. There are also other dogs swimming laps around the edge of the pool.

Luckily, they are careful to show you what to do.

Here she is, ready to go. She wears a collar provided for us and is on a longer than usual lead. The collar is tight and high on her neck, and she has a swim jacket to give her confidence.

And she swam well.

But the humans didn't do such a good job. All the other dogs seemed to manage to swim past the steps if they were doing more than one lap. But Penny, who was supposed to do two and then rest, tried to scramble out each time she passed the steps.

We've decided that we'll have the command "get out" when it's the right time for her to do that, and our vet nurse suggested the command 'not yet' for the times when she seems to be heading for the steps at the wrong time.

I guess we'll get used to it.

The other complication is that we're slow and the other dogs overtake, so we have to lay the lead down on the concrete and stand still so the other human steps over the lead and passes us. All this with Penny splashing and scrambling because she can't understand why we're suddenly holding her back.

Hmmm... will I have a person with a camera handy when I eventually tumble into the swimming pool?


Unknown said...

Ohhhh - that's a very different set-up to the hydroptherapy we had back in Auckland. There, we had the whole pool to ourselves in our session (1/2) and we could get into the pool with the dogs, which was really nice (and much more reassuring for the dogs, I think).

I think it would be quite stressful having to be in a moving line with all the other dogs, swimming around the edge of the pool!

Still, sounds like Penny took it all in her stride! :-)


parlance said...

Honey, I remember watching your video of Honey in the pool the first time. I seem to recall there were some funny moments!