So, our big brave bullbreed Ruby (Staffy, Boxer with perhaps some Mastiff thrown in for good measure) does not live up to the bullbreed reputation at all! In fact, I have yet to meet one that does, but Ruby is fearful of everything new... EVERYTHING.
Especially water. She likes to drink from muddy puddles, but go paddling, swimming, no way jose!
So, when we met with friends a few weeks ago and took both of our dogs down to the local river for a walk, we were more than surprised to see Ruby venture into the water with her new friend Riley. Knee deep she went, although only knee deep.
We wondered if it was time to show her that water is really nothing to be scared of.
I booked a half hour session at a local doggy swimming pool, called Paws to Splash and off we went, full of expectations that we would have a fully swimming dog by the end of it.
Haha. Dream on.
It took a lot of persuasion just to get her through the door, what was she scared of? The smell? No idea, but she held her own and refused to budge. Eventually, we managed to get her through a different door - she must have thought she had won that battle and trotted half way through the second door before anchoring down, but we were ready and one swift push of her bum with my knee and she was in the room.
Didn't like it, ears were down, tail was under, even the rubber duck (which she likes to decapitate usually) didn't even tempt her.
The very nice lady, who she liked very much, managed to get her onto the shelf, so only her feet were wet. She stood there for a while, shivered and shook and was generally very unhappy with the whole experience.
A lap of the pool followed - seriously, I have never seen such an splashy, noisy, water-jumping-out-of-the-pool, swim in all my days as a dog owner. So unladylike and very inelegant. Paws were out to the side, little head bobbing over the waterline with eyes that switched between "I hate you" and "Please help me".
After two laps of the pool, with a rest on the shelf in-between, it was decided that she hated it so much - her heart was thumping and she was getting distressed. We agreed it wasn't a great idea after all and after 8 minutes, we called time on the experience.
Now before you feel sorry for her, there was a lovely walk in the woods just beyond the swimming pool - she enjoyed that lots.