The Rolling Peke had a play date last week. We finally got together with some old friends and their Big Doggies: a 150 lb. Bernese Mountain Dog and a 180 lb. rescued Great Dane. The Rolling Peke, who by now can actually walk quite well (though the wheelchair still comes in handy for long walks and certain excretory functions) quickly put them in their place, as they then proceeded to have a wonderful time together. The Dane kept sniffing her as if to say, "You smell like a dog, but you're so small!"
The other new addition to our friends' household since our last visit two summers ago was a swimming pool; and what a gorgeous pool it was. A large, shallow "sun deck" area at one end to enter gradually, a "swim-up bar" seating area with a table in the middle, and two other bump-out areas at the far end for seating, complete with steps (instead of ladders) for climbing out. (For those familiar with pool shapes, there's your basic kidney-shaped pool, as well as something called a "ruptured kidney," referring to a pool with a single bump-out seat on the convex edge. I looked at my friend's pool with all its assorted bump-outs and said, "Holy cow! A polycystic kidney pool!")
But it felt great to get in it on a really hot afternoon.
The Rolling Peke began running around the edge as Darling Spouse and I went swimming, trying to stay as close to us as she could, and getting a little frantic when we got too far away. I was afraid she might fall in, though she never did.
But our hostess and Darling Spouse suggested to me that she might like to come into the water. Why not? I thought. So I climbed out and picked her up, then slowly re-entered the pool, holding her close so I could instantly feel (and soothe) any trembling or other sign of fear. Much to my surprise, she was fine!
I held her a little away from me, and lo and behold, she started making doggie-paddling motions with her front legs. I held her out to DS and she began swimming over. I didn't have the nerve to let go of her completely at first, but we quickly realized that she really could swim! All by herself!! She swam 4-5 feet back and forth between us, perfectly content. I'm sure it was fabulous physical therapy for her weakened back legs. Never in our wildest dreams would we have thought the Rolling Peke would enjoy swimming. We stopped after awhile; probably sooner than she needed to -- and I just sat in the pool holding her in my arms, her body nice and cool but with her head comfortably supported above the water.
When we finally got out, she did bear more than a passing resemblance to a drowned rat, but a brisk towelling-off and lying around for awhile, plus a few shakes, and she was dry and fluffy again in about an hour.
Who'd have thought our little puppy was such a water doggie!