There was no morning walk for Beanie today, and no breakfast either. She hung close to Susan as soon as she rose, but Susan didn’t go down to the kitchen as usual. A little disconcerted, our pup followed me downstairs and watched expectantly as I made coffee, but still the Burns food bag stayed firmly locked away in its cupboard. Beanie didn’t realize it, but this impromptu nil-by-mouth policy was for a good reason: our little pup was about to have her first swimming lesson.
The venue was Glasgow Pets A & E, the time: 9am. The event had been organized by Beanie’s training club, and they’d given us a handout with directions and the “no breakfast” advice. We didn’t need the directions of course; we’d been there before when Beanie had a bad stomach upset. Beanie didn’t seem to have any bad memories of the place though, and trotted in happily for a little play with Judy the labrador, who’d got there just before us.
The swimming sessions were held in the therapy pool. Each dog was kitted out with a lifejacket, and gently introduced into the water by the wet-suited staff. Beanie was the second to go in – she had the advantage of being able to watch Judy as she took the first plunge.
Judy the intrepid labrador – 1st into the pool
When it came to Beanie’s turn, she was initially apprehensive but soon started to get the hang of it:
…and she was quite happy to pose for the cameras between each lap of the pool:
Beanie posing for the camera
Beanie was followed by two other labs, Lucy and Maddie. Maddie was no stranger to swimming: she didn’t need a lifejacket and happily retrieved toys without splashing any of the spectators.
Maddie shows us how it’s done
Next up was the dog everybody wanted to see, albeit from a safe distance: Bailey the Great Dane. Bailey was so tall he hardly needed to swim to traverse the pool, but swim he did, and anybody less than a yard from the pool got soaked!
Bailey’s a big boy, but at least he has a calm nature. Herbie the Labradoodle on the other hand is both big and very energetic. As his turn arrived, I backed further away from the pool in anticipation of an unwanted shower. To my surprise though, Herbie was very calm in the water. He swam very well and happily played with toys in between laps.
Herbie in an unusual calm moment
The pool party was a great success, but I think Beanie’s going to need another, longer session to find her sea legs. The A&E allows private pool sessions for a reasonable fee so I think we’ll pop along again in a week or two for some more swimming!