Pax's new game


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Jul 15, 2007
Eastern Pennsylvania
Pax is our 3 year old German Shepherd dog who loves to swim. He was 6 months old when he first met a body of water larger than the kitchen sink where he had been getting the occasional bath. One look at my friend's pool and he dove in. The dog is fearless. We ran over to the steps and called him to us and that was Pax's swimming lesson. Dive in, find the steps, scurry out to dive in again.

He loves to retrieve and I often throw his orange toy for him. This is a retrieve training buoy used by labrador and other water hunting dog people. It has a hole at the top so you can partially fill it with water and make it float just below the surface. Pax will squeeze it in the middle and squirt water everywhere -- and I swear he's learned to aim it because of late he's managed to hit me and whatever book I'm reading every single time.

I don't always have the time to toss his toy. Sometimes I'm working on the pool, other times I really just want to relax with my tequila and a book and not be bothered by the little ankle biter. Pax has figured out the concept of self-gratification.

He runs, toy in mouth, to the end of the pool opposite the steps and drops the buoy into the stream of the return which carries it away from the edge a few feet. Only Pax knows the critical distance but when it has been reached he flings himself off the edge, snags his toy, swims to the steps, gets out, rushes to the other side and . . . well, you get the idea. Round and round, lots of splashing (we call that 'aerating' in pool lingo), lots of stirring up the fine silt on the bottom. I hardly ever have to vacuum anymore. I just haul the orange buoy out of the pool box and let my pool dog do the cleaning. :)