Thursday, July 23, 2009

Pugs in the Pool

This is starting out to be one of the hottest Oklahoma summers in years. The temperature exceeded one-hundred degrees more than once in June, an unusual occurrence, and will probably top the century mark many times before September. Because of the weather, I have settled into an after dinner routine.

I usually turn on the backyard lights, fire up a few Tiki torches and then sit by the pool until well after dark. My two pugs, Princess and Scooter, always accompany me. Sometimes I take my laptop and write by the light of the moon, fireflies and torches. I usually swim a few laps in the pool and then sit on the steps at the shallow end, playing with the pups.

Scooter is fearless and loves the water. Princess accidentally fell in once as a pup and is more leery. Tonight, Scooter jumped down into the few inches of water covering the highest step. Feeling cocky about his accomplishment, he jumped out and chased Princess as she watched with curiosity. Close to the edge, he bumped her a bit too hard. She tumbled into the water, he following her. The plunge surprised them both.

They were only a few feet from the steps so I calmly pointed them in the right direction and watched as they scampered out of the pool and began shaking the water off. Thankfully, neither seemed too traumatized by the experience.

I petted them both, removed their wet collars, dried them with a towel and then gave each half a chicken strip. Dogs are like humans. If something scares them, they often go out of their way to avoid the experience again.

Some well-meaning people dunked Lucky, my Lab in the pool as a pup. It frightened him to the extent that he never wanted to go swimming, even though it is in his retriever genes. Something similar happened when my Mother was young. She had a frightening experience in the water and consequently never learned to swim, but made sure that my brother Jack and I did.

I hope tonight’s pug dunk has no adverse effect on them. For Scooter, I am almost positive he has already forgotten about it. I not so sure about Princess, though. Like my Mother and Lucky, she may already have a permanent phobia, further strengthened by tonight’s dip.


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