Many Ridgebacks are water averse, but I suspect Penny Mayhem has some dolphin/Lochness Monster/kraken somewhere in her pedigree. Long before any sane dog tests the frigid water of Lake Michigan after the winter ice clears, Penny is diving in head first. In my quest to teach Zero to swim, Penny’s reckless enthusiasm for the lake has been a huge help. At first, Zero would hastily brake anytime the water got near his toes. But he always kept on eye on his sister’s splashing.
I could tell he was jealous of her joy, but Zero remained reluctant to join Penny.
We were treated to an early preview of summer heat this week, so it seemed like a perfect time to help Zero get over his doubts. I threw on my bathing suit, followed Penny into the water, and Zero followed right on my tail.
We started with some simple games in the shallows to help build his confidence. In no time we had him wading into deeper waters.
Watching puppies realize the physics of water are much different than the physics of air is always good for a laugh.
It might not have been elegant, but Zero’s furious first attempts certainly got the job done. And the further out Penny and I went, the more determined Zero was to follow.
I’m happy to report that by the end of yesterday we had Zero paddling those big dino feet like a pro. We’re back to spring temperatures this weekend, but I know one puppy who is definitely ready for summer. Check back tomorrow for a full video of Zero’s transformation into the next Michael Phelps.
Snorts and rolls with piggy laughter. Way to go Zero! You so got this. XOXO – Bacon
Big brave boy!That water must have been freezing!
testing the water would be a good replacement for the smoke on the water song by deep purple :o) Congrats for winning the water challenge Zero! I often try to jump in a lake or a pond, but the mama said I probably haven’t realized that water is wet, like the rain I avoid like the plague… is that true?
Madison had the same reaction to swimming two weeks ago. Bailie dove right in, but Madison only put her paws in and watched. She wasn’t sure enough about it to follow. We know she will next time.
Splish-splash! Looks so fun!
Sounds like you definitely have two swimmers ready for the summer water! That will be fun to watch.
Once Zero and Penny take their battles into the water, people are going to think their are two lake monsters living in Chicago. And they’re not wrong…
Thank you, it was. Wait, you were talking about me, right?
No fire in the sky, but Penny is always happy to burn the place to the ground. My guys water allergy only seems to act up when it’s falling on their head (rain or shower)
I can say from experience that the water is still quite cold, so I definitely empathize with the pups. I think warmer temps will help with their bravery.
Khoi is a very selective swimmer; he really has to have a good reason to go in. For example, my husband swimming across the river. Khoi didn’t hesitate. Went right after him. Or ducks in a pond. A couple weeks ago he spent nearly an hour of swimming up and down the pond after a pair of ducks (pets with clipped wings). I really wish I had captured that on video instead of recording the ground next to me. The ducks played tag team, so the other could rest. Pretty sure they were enjoying themselves. Neeka on the other hand? Nope. No way. Landlubber. Your pups are truly amazing.
You’ll also need to get Zero a pair of the swimming goggles like Michael Phelps wears too!! (That will really build up his confidence)
Yay Zero! My boys have never been swimming. I don’t think that even cheese would be enough incentive to get them near water.
Can’t wait for the video.
Love, Jo, Sam and Dean
We’re very fortunate to have a beach in our backyard. Getting the pups acclimated to the water at a young age makes a huge difference. Love that Neeka leaves the water rescue heroics to Khoi!
I’m lucky to be able to acclimate my guys when they’re young. Trying to get a landlocked, adult Ridgeback into the water for the first time is a herculean effort.
Too cool. He definitely deserves 7 gold medals for his first outings. I only wish I could get Sam even near water. He’s definitely more in the “no how, no way” tribe of web footed dogs. *Sigh*
Squeals. Oh yes! That would make for a great story on my blog in October during my 31 Days of Spook. Please remember me and write me a story okay. Thxbai – snorts with piggy laughter. XOXO – Bacon
Go, Z! It’s not a bath! It’s FUN!
Love and licks,
That is just awesome! What fun.Can’t wait for the video!
Well done Zero – and possibly well done you for braving the waters too. I suspect it may have been more your influence than Penny on this occasion – ok if “Dad” can do it…… Also was that Doc or another GSP I spotted in the background of a couple of photos?
Such fun photos.
How much did Zero weigh at 6mos? My Jack will be 7mos on Monday and only weighs 64lb… He is my first ridged pup; he has an awesome personality, gets along with all dogs, humans-including kids, am still hopeful he will have a huge growth spurt so his breeder might consider showing him. He did well paddle boarding at San Diego Bay recently…but in the ring, well, I think he would be much like Zero and would need to compete in Single Category to Champion!
I don’t exactly remember, but like people, pups can definitely hit growth spurts at different times. In general, I prefer to keep my guys on the leaner side (especially when growing) to go easy on their joints. Wouldn’t worry about it too much either way. Many judges prefer to have dogs closer to the breed standard (85 lbs) so that wouldn’t be any trouble for him in the ring. Best of luck to you, us, and all dogs who emerge victorious against invisible competition!