Gus, who used to be our baby puppy, is now eight months old. He has reached the age to try out for the swim team. So he did.
We have a river running through the ranch, only 100 feet or so from the house. Beau is an expert swimmer. In fact, in another post I wrote awhile back, I described him swimming across a lake in order to help some fishermen who were, well, fishing from a boat. Beau disturbed their attempt to sneak up on fish. Later, he went to the dock and located the fish that had been caught and took one. Theft is a wrongful taking with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of his property. Maybe Beau intended to bring the fish back, except he did not.
Gus idolizes Beau. When Beau went swimming, Gus tried to emulate him. At first Gus stayed in the shallow water and pretended to swim. He kept his back legs on the bottom and slapped the water with his front paws. After awhile, Miss Sugar threw a stick into the channel. That action presented a dilemma. Gus loves to fetch but he did not know how to swim. He whined like a baby as the stick drifted past him. Then instinct kicked in. He is, after all, a Labrador Retriever.
So, he swam. He had a reason to swim. He swam to the stick. He even had to stick his muzzle in the water to bite on the stick. He swam back to shore. He brought the stick to Sugar. Just like in the yard but with the extra twist of swimming out, fetching, and swimming back, then climbing ashore and bringing the stick to Sugar. Wow! A feat worthy of a Labrador.
So, since that fateful day, Gus heads for the river every chance he gets. He swims his favorite stroke, Dog Paddle.
Just like a big boy. A proud member of the swim team.