Max, about whom you read in Deadly Dangers at Cross Creek Ranch, is a Yellow Labrador Retriever. He has been an enthusiastic swimmer his entire life … until we enrolled him in a class.
Max enters fast flowing rivers without hesitation, especially to fetch a ball or stick. But when asked to jump into a pool to fetch a toy, well, that’s where he draws the line.
Advanced Animal Care in Fort Collins has the nicest doggy daycare that I have ever seen. Miss Sugar discovered their new building and brought home a brochure with photos of the aquatic venue. Owners can enroll their dogs in classes after first passing an orientation.
So we signed up both of our dogs. Sadie is also a Yellow Lab; however, she has not shown a natural affinity for the sport of swimming. Rather, one of her tricks is to let Max jump into the water, get the stick, and swim back to shore, where Sadie awaits to take the stick and claim credit for retrieving it, all without getting wet.
The swimming instructor at the Advanced Animal Care pool requires the dogs to wear life jackets. I informed her that for Max it would not be necessary. She insisted.
So I put the life jacket on Max. I put one on Sadie as well, of course, because she can’t swim.
I had to get into the pool too. The instructor had hip waders for me to wear. I got in. To show off, I threw a toy and commanded Max to fetch. He didn’t. That was a surprise because Max always fetches. He fetches even without a command. He fetches as a creature with an obsessive-compulsive disorder.
So Miss Goody Goody Sadie jumps in. Max never did.
The life jackets have handles on the back of the dog so they can be held up if they panic. Sadie used her front legs but not her back legs. I had fun playing with her.
We forced Max into the pool. He swam to the steps and got out on his own.
I shouldn’t have bragged about him.