Thursday, March 15, 2012

Birthdays, and swimming in the ocean

Bethan, the daughter of a family friend, celebrated her 13th birthday on March 7th. My friend Anna celebrated her birthday on March 8th. AliceKay's grandson, Ryan, celebrated his birthday on March 10th. Yesterday (March 14th) my friends Lynn and Betsy celebrated their birthdays. And today (March 15th) my big brother, Wayne, celebrates his birthday.

So, a very happy - though in most cases late - birthday to all of them!


Usually things about Willow appear in her posts on Kelly's blog, but this time I decided I'd post about what happened on Sunday myself.

Sunday was a beautiful day, and Kelly had been having trouble persuading Willow to actually swim in the ocean. She loves to swim in the river, but nothing he could do would persuade her to do more than paddle in the ocean. He hadn't tried going in with her though, so I decided I'd try that. So, I dressed in shorts, t-shirt and sandals, and the four of us set off for the beach. Kero doesn't do water (especially not water that chases him) and Kelly wasn't eager to go in the water either, but I was happy to. With this in mind, when we got to the beach we swapped dogs, and Kelly stayed up the beach a bit with Kero, the camera, and my cane (I didn't think the salt water would do it any good; it's useless on the beach anyway... Too many stones, and nothing to follow to keep me going straight). Meanwhile, I took the plunge with Willow.

It might have been one of those beautiful days that whisper of the promises of the Summer, but apparently someone forgot to tell the ocean that, because it was FREEZING!

People were fishing a little way out, and people were laying about on the beach, but I'm pretty sure I was the only person daft enough to be playing in the water. LOL!

Anyway, while I was holding her head up so she didn't get splashed, and while I only expected her to walk about in deep water, Willow was fine. But as soon as I tried to get her to lift her paws to swim... Well, that was another matter. She got scared and tried to go back to shallower water. I tried until my legs were numb with cold, went out of the water to get feeling back in my legs, then tried again. She was having none of it. I would have kept trying (I was having fun, even if she wasn't) but we'd been there for about an hour, Kelly was getting bored, and Kero was rather upset about my eagerness to keep being in the wet stuff. And Kelly couldn't just take Kero home, because I can't do the walk to and from the beach by myself yet.

I know Willow had no issues with the water temperature. For one thing, she only minded if the water hit her in the face (she hates her head splashed) or if I tried to persuade her to lift her paws more than essential for walking while in the water. For another thing, I've known her to swim in half frozen rivers (which even I would think twice about being in). Which just leaves me with the theory that she hates the way it moves or something. I'm thinking the fact I had to let go of her head for her to be able to attempt to swim - thus removing the protection I was giving her from the splashing of the waves - may have also contributed to her reluctance to actually swim in the ocean. Like I said, she was happy to paddle, and she didn't mind going up to her neck with me (well, didn't mind it too much; at least, not as long as I kept hold of her head and shielded it from the waves), but there was no way that dog was swimming; I really tried!


Autumn said...

I think moving water scares some dogs. Perhaps with a few more outings she'll warm up to the idea?

Deanna said...

Are you crazy?!?! Just thinking of going in the ocean this time of year makes me shudder. Maybe Willow will change her mind eventually. I so envy you living so close to the ocean.

Have a wonderful day!

Rita said...

It has to be the not liking her face to get wet. If she can't feel the bottom then she's probably afraid she won't be able to lift her head up far enough to avoid the waves. Just let her paddle about where she feels comfortable. She'll probably gradually get used to waves and the moving water if she went that far in already. You'll have a whole summer to play, right? I think she did great! :):)

Toriz said...

Yeah, that's what I'm hoping; that she'll get used to it.

Yes, I am crazy, or so I've been told. LOL!

I was going to keep trying. Besides, I can use it as an excuse to play in the water myself. ;)

AliceKay said...

I was just about to ask what Deanna asked...are you crazy??? LOL That water temp had to be pretty cold this time of year. Maybe once the summer heat comes around, Willow will also come swimming in the sea with you. :)

Toriz said...

Yep, it was definitely VERY cold water. And, yep, I'm crazy. But never mind! ;)

Intense Guy said...

Maybe Willow's ears are still tender and she is just protecting them from getting wet?

The water looks pretty calm - I would have joined you (and yes, as you know, I'm crazy too).

Toriz said...

Maybe, but she's always had issues with getting her head wet.

*Grins* Hey, maybe between us we could have persuaded Willow to swim?

LadyStyx said...

You said she swims fine in the river though. I would guess that part of the problem in the ocean is that it's so big. It's not like a river where she can see that there is land on either side, and therefore an easy way to get to safety. That ocean is big and wide open on that one side. Seems to me she was simply keeping to where she knew she could get back to land quickly. Maybe when it's a bit warmer and if you're willing to go farther out (with a friend naturally!) then maybe she'll swim out to you because she can see that it's okay?

Toriz said...

You could be right. I'd be happy to go further out as long as someone was about to make sure I went the right way to go back to shore. Maybe if my Mam comes for a visit in the Summer she'll help me out...

It's a shame there aren't any rivers nearby I can take her too. The only other water source is the pond in the park, and dogs and people aren't allowed in there.