Thursday, January 15, 2015

Doggy Swim by Melinda Curtis

I admit it. I’ve become one of those dog-loving ladies. You know the type. They carry their dog in
their purses or drive with the dog sitting on their shoulders or only share pictures of their dogs on Facebook.

Now, before you scoff at me, I don’t think I’ve gone that far over the deep end. However, we’re empty nesters now, and I work at home. The house was really quiet. So I brought home a puppy – a small dog when Mr. Curtis and I have had nothing but large dogs for 30 years. At first, Tally was afraid of everything. Translation: she yapped at everything. In desperation, I called the dog whisperer. Trainer Tom used to train dogs for the military. Now he works with people like me who want the “perfect dog.”

How is a perfect dog possible? It’s not. What Trainer Tom strives for are confident dogs and relaxed owners. What does that mean? It means we regularly go on pack walks around the local university (20 or so dog owners). We attend obedience classes. We have homework assignments (like taking our dogs to Home Depot). We visit veterinary clinics and go to outdoor events. Ever taken your dog to the farm tractor show? I have (and I’m not a farmer).

So it should have come as no surprise when Trainer Tom said we were going to have swimming lessons. Granted, we live in California. We have a pool and our 14-year old Lab (who is otherwise a slug) swims in it more than we do. Tally would not swim. At our first swim class, we were paired with a Rottweiler. We were taught how to “encourage” a dog into the pool, how to teach them to swim (much like you’d teach a toddler), and how to teach them to get out (the most important part). At our second class, Tally literally swam circles around Trainer Tom.

Am I nuts?  Maybe.  But Tally doesn’t bark at every grocery bag I bring in the house now.  I can take her into public places without her being a yappy, nerve-wracked pip-squeak.


Have you ever gone a little nutty over an animal or known someone that did? I’d love to hear about it.

19 comments:

  1. Your Tally is so adorable. I always love the pictures I see of her on Facebook. Her facial expressions are hilarious sometimes. When growing up I had a German Shepherd named April. I loved her so much and still miss her almost 38 years later!! We used to put clothes on her, makeup, hats. That poor dog. But, I don't think she cared. She let us do it. Now I have a fat, 14 year old cat named Kit-Kat who I take pictures of all the time. As for the things we did to April, Kit-Kat could never be bothered with that!!

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    1. Dogs are so precious! I'm not sure if Tally would like having clothes or hats on her. Maybe I should buy her a little outfit and find out...

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  2. Tally is so cute. But I bet you hear that all the time. I used to be a cat and a dog person. When my last cat died it was just too hard on me and I said I can't go through losing an animal again. I still love putting animals in my books, though.

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    1. I'm sorry Roz! I can understand that feeling. As for putting animals in books, that can be quite fun!

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  3. As Laurie and Roz commented above, Tally is adorable.

    As for going "nutty" over animals, Melinda, you may remember my September post: http://heartwarmingauthors.blogspot.ca/2014/09/a-dogs-life-by-kate-james-and.html

    Draw your own conclusion! :-D

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  4. Tally sounds adorable. My family has had dogs and cats over the years but after having my dog Monty put to sleep in September, I've decided it will be a while before I have another dog. It's just too hard to lose them. However, I love seeing other people's pets and spoiling them, and reading about animals in books. They usually add sweetness to a story.

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    1. I love seeing pets in books. They even add some comic relief every once in awhile!

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  5. Oh, Melinda.... I love this post so much LOL! You are not alone. I am so nutty for my dogs. We had two border collies when our wiener dog Lucky came into our life. I was used to smart, playful, obedient, canine companions who could drive my car if only I could teach them how. Lucky, however, is a rescue dog who has had more issues in his life than the New York Times! With lots of love and patience he has come sooo far. I'd do just about anything for my dogs and I love you for doing the same!

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    1. I'm glad Lucky has found a loving home!

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  6. Good work, Mel! Tally is adorable and will become one of the best friends you have. Our home has been filled with dogs and cats our entire married life (I grew up in apartment, and couldn't wait to have animals! ) Nuttiest thing I ever did was for a cat (Eloise - a wedding present from my boss) who'd had surgery and just wasn't recovering. She loved turkey, so I BOUGHT AND COOKED AND 18 POUND TURKEY! Before long, she was out of her bed and sniffing around the kitchen. She had a bowl of white meat and broth for the next week and lived to be 21! For those of you who've lost a pet and are reluctant to suffer like that again, please think of all the senior dogs and cats in shelters who'd love to spend their last few years in someone's arms, or on someone's scatter rug. Sure, you'll have that blistering pain eventually, but there's so much pleasure before that! I'm just sayin'. . .

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    1. Wow! Sounds like the turkey did the trick!

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  7. Oh, I love this! I'm a cat person (and could cheerfully become a cat lady, but the roommate objects...) but I'd like to have a little dog for company. However, I also love the independence of not really having to take care of anyone, so think I'll content myself with reading about pets like Tally, Eloise, and Lucky!

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    1. Well I will continue to post Tally stories for you. :)

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  8. Mel, you're so sweet and your pooch is adorable. I love all you're doing for her!!

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  9. I have a rescue cat named Suzy...she's the one you see on FB laying in my lap and keeping me from writing. Tally is adorable!

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    1. Sounds like Suzy and Tally like to do the same thing! Everyday Tally jumps into my lap to take her nap. It makes writing just a tad bit harder. lol

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  10. I feel in love with an Australian Shepherd I saw at Mike's school on Wednesday. I am seriously considering my dog-free life.
    I wonder how Tyre the Cat will respond.

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