Saturday, October 23, 2010

What Max taught Scooter and Truffle

Here are Truffle and Scooter at Greenlake, retrieving their toy from the water.  You don't find many dachshunds who voluntarily retrieve, let alone retrieve in the water.  But Max and I taught Scooter one day when I went into Lake Washington to retrieve Max's float because he couldn't see it.  Scooter got very anxious and thought I was running away, so he jumped in the water and paddled out to see where I was going and if I was all right.  After that he was a water dog too, and I had to get him his own floaty toy.  Then after Truffle joined the family, she was taught by both Max and Scooter, and a little bit by her own jealousy at being left out of the fun. 

Thus, when I take the terrible two for a walk around Greenlake, they expect to stop at a little bay past the Bathhouse Theater and swim for a while.  Their legs are too short to balance in the water so they use their tails, which circle furiously like a helicopter rotor as they swim out and back with the brightly colored rubber bone gripped in their teeth.  Usually Scooter starts out winning the race for  the first throws, but eventually Truffle gingerly surreptitiously wades out halfway into the water, to give her a headstart after Scooter's brought the toy back.  So, she takes over for the second half.  Folks usually stop and ask questions or comment when we're there, because it's so unusual to see these little guys behaving like water dogs.

It's probably too cold to take the two dachshunds to Greenlake for a swim fest these days because they don't have the double coat to keep them warm in the water like Max does.  And Max can no longer retrieve in the water because his vocal cord is tied back.  Should he get water in his mouth there's a significant danger that it would travel to his lungs and he would come down with  pneumonia as a result.  So for now, we'll go back to retrieving on land for all three.  Come spring though we will be back at Greenlake for a dip.

1 comment:

Dan Matyola said...

Lovely tale!

It is obvious that you love your dogs, and they trust you and love you back. I have cousins who are into dachshunds BIG time. They have a pool, and I have never seen any of their dogs in the water or even contemplating it.

We have always had Alaskan Malamutes. They avoid the water, probably because in the Arctic going in the water usually means death. When my wife couldn't take showers, and switched to baths for a few months, she had to take the dogs outside first, because they would get very upset if they saw -- or even heard -- her getting ready to enter a bath tub full of water. When we went into the swimming pool, they would constantly pace and circle the water, keeping a careful eye on us, and occasionally throwing back their heads and letting out a few mournful howls.

I hope things are still going well with the chemo. Hang in there, kid.