Saturday, March 27, 2010

Abby's First Swim

When Abby was young she hated swimming despite being able to swim. I don’t think she realized that she was bred for and was supposed to swim. One time I picked her up and put her on the top step of the pool. She immediately hopped out, went straight to the corner in the patio and starred me down for several minutes. She knew how to put on an ugly face if she wanted to express her anger. She sat in the same corner as in the photo of this entry except she didn’t have a cutie-pie face. If looks could have killed that day, I would be dead right now.

Something I noticed when I was going through old photos was that there were not many photos of Abby as a puppy swimming. That was because she did not swim often enough for us to snap photos of her in the pool.

I chose the photo above because it was with those girls along with some of their friends not shown who whipped Abby into a frenzy for her to go swimming.(Edit: I decided against showing photos of the kids.) During the excitement, Abby just didn’t get in, she jumped in. I was doing yard work so I missed the event, but I could hear the splash when Abby had gone in and the girls yelling and cheering for Abby.

As Abby got older, she didn’t have to be so excited in order for her to get in the pool. Normally, she had to have company and she rarely went in the water alone without an audience. Examples of ‘company’ would be Nikki coming over or houseguests. Abby rarely went in during cold weather, but she did love going in during a hot summer’s day. Abby loved to show-off. When a guest would come over, she would slip into the pool, swim in a small circle, and look up at the guest in an attempt to catch that person’s eye. Many times, Abby was trying to entice the guest into joining her in the water. She often did this to me after I had moved out of the house but came back for a visit.

This is in contrast to Nikki or Andy who would get in the water anytime of the year. I’ve seen Andy try to break through a layer of ice to try to get in. As Abby grew older, the only times she would swim was when I was in the pool. Part of the reason for this is that she liked my company. Another reason she would swim only when I was around is that I was the only one she trusted to help get her out of the pool. In her later years, Abby was afflicted with severe arthritis and had problems moving around or getting up and down steps. Abby knew I could help her out, and sometimes, she really did need help getting out. Even in her advanced years, Abby could still swim well with a fluidity and grace. She would slip quietly in the water and use that powerful ‘otter’ tail to steer her way around the pool. That tail had a useful purpose in the water, but on land, that thing could swipe a table clean with one wag of it.

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