Well, I'm tired as crap this morning. Jenn & I went to Salt Fork State Park yesterday to spend the day at the lake with her parents—and of course we took Maddie with us. We left around 9am and got back just before 10pm.
I was pretty excited about getting Maddie to some water again. The first time she was in water (about 10 weeks ago,) she didn't really care much for it. I think it freaked her out when she couldn't touch the ground anymore. While she did splash around a bit that day, she was very tentative. About two weeks after that, we took her back to Antrim park and she played around in the water with a lot more enthusiasm, but she was still didn't swim—as a matter of fact she'd get out of the water anytime she started getting too deep. Anyway, this had me concerned that I'd have to spend a lot of time with her to coax her into the swimming.
Anyway, we got to the camp ground area around a 11:30—we had a minor detour in Cambridge trying to find a Walmart (or some store we could get some dog treats and a disposable camera.) We sat around for a bit and had some BLTs—my version of a BLT consists of bacon, lettuce and turkey. :) We chatted for a bit and then loaded the canoe up and headed down to the lake around 1pm.
Fortunately, the beach was empty—it was pretty overcast yesterday and not exactly hot. Since the beach was empty, I picked the spot which looked like it would be the best place for Maddie to run and play. I was able to pick a corner of the beach that I thought would stay secluded, even if other people showed up.
Any fear that I had that Maddie wouldn't like water was immediately squelched—she immediately ran into the water and started splashing and swimming around—no hold bars. It was hilarious. For about the first 5 or 10 minutes, I kept her leash and harness on. I wanted to be able to quickly get to her if I need to. I soon realized that it was holding her back, so I let her go completely free. On Saturday, I had purchased a floatable Kong for her to play with, so I started off just tossing it a few feet out. I started throwing it where she'd be able get it without swimming. Gradually I'd just throw it a little farther out. By the end of the day, I could heave it out a good 100-120 feet and she'd swim out there and get it.
She swam and ran for about 2 hours straight yesterday. The whole time she was either swimming, splashing or running up and down the beach. I tried to give her a break by taking her in the canoe, but about 5 minutes into the trip, she jumped out of the canoe and decided to swim instead. :) Because we out away from the beach and I thought she might be tired, we headed in a straight line back to the beach. She started whinnying a bit when we got in front of her, but I wanted to head right to the beach. I then tried again to get her to rest for a couple of minutes by putting her leash on, but that didn't last long, so I gave in and let her swim and run again.
Jenn & I took a bunch of pictures of Maddie swimming, so I hope they turn out. We had forgotten our digital cameras, so we stopped and picked up a water-proof disposable. I've got some more pictures to take (like 5,) that I'm hoping to take this afternoon so I can go and get the film developed today. I really wish I would have had a camcorder. :)
Slightly after 3pm we ended up heading back to the camp site. Jenn & I cleaned up (took a shower at the wash house, changed clothed, etc) and we basically sat around for the rest of the day talking w/her parents and sister. Jenn's Aunt and Cousin showed up around 4pm or so—they came down for dinner. As the food was cooking and we were setting up the table for dinner, the skies really turned dark. You could tell a storm was rolling in. Fortunately, we were able to hustle around and get everything packed in to Jenn's parents camper. Jenn's dad still had a few burgers to finish over the grill, but we got down before the real heavy rains moved in. So the 7 of us, plus the dog, all cramped in the camper and ate dinner. We sat around until about 8pm just chatted and waiting for the storm to pass. When the rain had pretty much died down, I loaded the car back up and we said our good byes. Needless to say, Maddie slept the whole way home (and she napped most of the day.)
Anyway, it was a fun day and Jenn & I laughed most of the way home talking about how funny it was to watch Maddie play so unrestrained in the water. I'm going to try to get Maddie back to some water soon.