Monday, August 13, 2007

Cobalt: Soggy Doggy

One of the things L was looking for in a dog was an affinity for water. Cobalt, though, had been a bit of a disappointment.

She'd only gone in the water twice, both times by accident. Once, in the western beaches, she was chasing some gulls and tried to follow them out to the breakwater -- We'd never seen her run backwards so fast! The second time, we were visiting our friend Robert Vanderhorst and she was running around the yard, having a great time. She ran at a bush and jumped over it -- and landed square in the koi pond! It was about a meter deep, so she had to swim to get out, but she managed it.

We would take her down to Cherry Beach, but she wouldn't venture more than a sniff at the waves.

At The Water's Edge

Her sister, Photon, was already turning into a water dog, splashing around in a kiddie pool, wading into the lake at the cottage, and so on. Then last week she suddenly started swimming -- so L decided that this weekend, we'd get Cobalt into the water.

The first attempt was Saturday morning at the Kew Gardens off-leash area, a fenced-in area of rocky beach south of Kew Gardens in the Beaches. We found a small (about a meter square), shallow, sheltered area and tried to get Cobalt to fish a tennis ball out of it. She was willing to go as far as getting her paws wet, but she spent most of her effort on finding which of the rocks sticking out of the water let her reach the ball without getting wet.

Still, getting her paws damp was progress.

That evening, we headed to Cherry Beach for 8pm (when dogs are allowed off-leash again) for another try. We'd picked up a new toy -- a tennis-ball-like "stick" that squeaks. Cobalt finds regular tennis balls too big to carry comfortably, so we figured this might be a better choice.

L took the new toy and started with tossing it just barely into the water, like we'd done with the tennis ball that morning. Cobalt would retrieve it just fine, so L took the next logical step -- she grabbed the toy and waded out into the lake (in her jeans!) And, for the first time, Cobalt decided to get properly wet and waded out to get the toy!

Coaxing Her Out

Within five minutes, she was running in to fetch the toy. We played with her for about half an hour like this, and she was still game for more when we decided it was getting too dark and we had to head home.


The Water Toy

She ended up a very soggy doggy -- but there was more to come the next day (and the next post)!

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