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NOTE: This post is written from the viewpoint of Hope, my one year old rescued black Lab.
When I woke up Saturday morning I knew it was gonna be another great day! Sometimes you just know that something pawesome is about to happen even if you don’t know what it is. When mommy was packing up the fun bag, I started getting excited. Water, dish, towel and my new red bumper for retrieving – maybe we were going to my friend Gracie’s house to swim in her pool! After breakfast mommy and I headed out, but we didn’t go over the big bridge so I knew we weren’t going to Gracie’s house or to the beach. Where could we be going? As we got further outside the city and I started seeing all the big trees I was pretty sure we were going to the fun place to go dock diving! I sat next to mommy, riding shotgun with my seat belt securely fastened and I started my excited little humming as we drove along the country roads. Then we slowed down and turned onto the dirt road … YES, I was right, we were going dock diving!
I was so excited I could barely wait for mommy to open the car door. I could smell the pond and then I started hearing all the happy barks and splashing! I was practically dragging mommy toward the gate so we could get to the pond – and there it was, one of the best places in the world. A beautiful pond with a dock, I’m pretty sure this is what Labby heaven looks like! And there were lots of Labbies (and other dogs, too – any dog who loves the water can join in the fun) at the pond Saturday – some of them were hanging out and others were diving off the dock. I was so ready to go flying off that dock! The first time I went dock diving I was a little nervous but this time I wasn’t afraid at all, I knew I could do it.
We stood around for a while, mommy was talking to some people … blahblahblah … I was straining on my leash as I watched the other dogs diving off the dock. When was it going to be my turn??? And then finally I heard, “does Hope want to jump next?” I started squealing, YES YES YES!!! And I was off, heading toward the dock with mommy in tow. Oh the pure bliss of that first jump! I was quivering with excitement – mommy made me sit as she threw the bumper into the water and then she released me and I went running and then I was flying … it felt like forever, I must have jumped like 100’ (ok, probably less than 10’ but I’m getting better!). And then splash into the water! I retrieved my bumper and swam like crazy to get back to the dock so I could dive again. Could there be anything better than this? I could have dived and swam for hours, but there were lots of dogs at dock diving practice Saturday so I got a few more jumps in and then I had to take a break.
I have to say, this is the not-so-much-fun part of dock diving. It’s hard for an exuberant young pup like me to sit still when there’s so much going on. All I wanted to do was get back on that dock and into the water – and if I couldn’t do that, then I wanted to play with the other dogs. But mommy said not all dogs like it when I jump in their face – she said that at dock diving practice us pups have to stay with our pawrents and it’s not a free-for-all play time.
I was so excited when my friend Gracie showed up along with her sis, Annie, and her mommy AND my foster mommy Nancy and her pups, Rufus and Holly. Wow, it was like a big party! I was so happy to see everyone, but again, mommy said I had to calm down … ugh … boring. Gracie got to do a few dives and I couldn’t believe she’d actually go without me – but then it was time to try out “dueling dogs” – SO MUCH FUN! It’s dock diving, but with two pups at one time … we’re each supposed to retriever our own bumper and then race to see who swims back to the dock first. That was the best ever, I love diving with Gracie!
I just wished we could have spent all afternoon diving and swimming but it was time to go home much too soon. I could tell mommy was ready to go, she seemed tired and hot … and well, kinda disheveled, she had my muddy pawprints all over her, oops guess that’s why I’m not supposed to jump up on people!
I’ll admit, perhaps I wasn’t at my very best Saturday … I wriggled out of my harness so that I could cut in line and get back on the dock! And I chewed up my brand new leash waiting for my turn. Oh, and I also had a little skirmish with Snow, the baby Lab – mommy said that was really bad … I didn’t hurt him, I just raced over and wanted to play and he told me to stop jumping on him and then I snarked like the big dogs always do to me. I really did feel bad cuz he’s a sweet pup and I was kinda bitchy.
So in retrospect, yeah, I can understand why mommy was getting a little irritated with me. I noticed that many of the really experienced dock dogs, like my idol Gentleman Doni, were hanging out in crates and a really cool little gazebo thing while they waited for their turn. I have a feeling that a crate is in my future and maybe it will be a good thing so that mommy doesn’t get so tired out trying to keep me from going bananas – and it will give me a little down time … although I’d rather be diving off that dock and into the water non-stop!
As we were driving home, I was so tired I could barely keep my eyes open but I remember mommy stroking my ears and whispering how much she loves me – even when I’m not-so-good. She said we’d be doing some more work on training basics like recall before the next dock dog practice. All I could think was how lucky I am – what could be better than an afternoon spent diving into the water with my fur friends and then going home to the place where I’m loved and cherished?
Eat, Play, Luv,