Saturday, September 10, 2011

Dip, Doggie, Dip! Dip, Doggie, Dip! Now Slide! Slide! Slide!

I'm a dog.  As of today, I'm a dog who went in a swimming pool!  But I'm already getting ahead of myself.  Let me back up.

Today I went to my first ever dog party that I was invited to attend.  While I attended another dog party once, I wasn't invited to it and just kind of crashed it towards the end and took some treats.  But I digress.  Today was the annual Parkfairfax Doggie Dip.  Or maybe it's the Parkfairfax Doggy Dip.  I'm not sure.  The party was scheduled from 12-2 and was located just down the street from our house at the Lyons Lane pool.  Even though Alicia has been trying to get me psyched up about it all week long, I had no idea what she was talking about and was unsure where she was taking me, as the pool is not on any of our regular walk routes.

I was a bit nervous as we turned the corner and I spied a bunch of dogs and people hanging out at the pool.  I stopped in my tracks and sat down and then crouched, surveying the scene for anything suspect.

As we walked down the sidewalk, my tail got to wagging and I was excited.  Then we got inside and Alicia took off my leash.  I guess she was expecting me to run and jump into the pool, or at least run over to meet some of the dogs.  Instead, I took note of the pool (pool = wet = bad) and made a beeline over to the corner farthest away from the water and went about one of my favorite activities: sniffing.

A few came over to say hello, but I was too nervous and overwhelmed to pay them much mind.  I was looking for an escape route.  There was no way that I was getting anywhere near that pool.  Soon enough I found some large stacks of deck chairs and climbed atop them.  From this position I could keep an eye on the pool water and make sure it didn't make any sudden moves, like the ocean water did back in June.

While it was definitely safer up there on the stacks of chairs, it was still fairly precarious.  My paws kept slipping through the slats and I got stuck almost every time I took a step.  

Alicia wasn't sure this was the best place for me (wrong!), so she scooped me up and carried me over to the pool steps, where a bunch of dogs - (mostly golden retrievers and labs, one enormous great dane and a couple other dogs) were milling around, hopping in and out of the pool with balls and rubber duckies in their mouths.

Norman, a golden retriever puppy who I happened to meet and play with last night while out on a walk, was over at the edge of the pool, so I went over to say hello.  He'd already been in and was making plans to go back in very soon.  In fact, he just up and jumped into the pool without so much as a goodbye.  It seemed like the party was in the pool, but I still wasn't sure.  I walked along the edge of the pool, crouching down every once in a while to test the water - by lapping it up, of course - but wouldn't go in.  I went to the stairs and dipped in a paw.  Sure enough, the water was wet! No thank you.

So I walked around some more.  Dogs were shaking themselves off and making me wet.  There were puddles everywhere.  All the balls were in the pool.  It just made sense to hop in and see what all the fuss was about.

You'll notice I'm wearing a leash in the pool.  That isn't standard practice.  I had my leash off before, but when it looked like I might want to jump in, Alicia got nervous and leashed me up.  And thank goodness she did.  Turns out, I don't know how to swim!  There I was trying to keep my head above water, and there was Alicia reeling me in.

I finally got to the side and she left me to pull myself out on my own while she snapped a picture.  Good thing I'm all muscle!  There was no way I was staying in that pool any longer than necessary, so I gave it my all and hoisted myself out.

After shaking off the excess water I decided that perhaps it would be best if I just watched from the sidelines and left the swimming to the professionals (aka golden retrievers).  While they were doing what they do best, I did what I do best: watching, sniffing and running around with other dogs.

Lifeguard Molly, on the alert.  Just don't drown.  I can't save you.

Checking on the little dogs in the baby pool.

Horsing around on the pool deck.
I was having a great time.  I was running around, jumping on dogs, chewing on dogs, getting into play stance and bouncing around.  The world was good.  Then I got into a great chase with another dog right along the edge of the pool.  My leash was off and I was running fast, cutting corners and having a blast.

NOT jumping in the pool.  Just cutting corners way too close.
And then what do you know, but I wind up falling in the pool.  Yikes!  Last time, I chose to jump in the water.  Which was a mistake.  This time, I fell in and was terrified.  I was frantically trying to paddle with my front paws while my hind legs and butt just sunk.  Alicia quickly grabbed me by the collar and lifted me to safety.  Thank goodness!  This time, it was a bit scarier, so she didn't have a chance to snap any photos.

After that, I kept playing, though a bit further from the pool.  Alicia tried to bring me over to the baby pool, where they were allowing us big dogs who can't swim a chance to take a mini dip in water that only came up to our ankles.  But I didn't trust it.  Water is sneaky and there was no way I was getting in that pool.  Even if it was less than six inches of water in one area and Alicia was already standing in the water, trying to get me in.  No sir.

I took a few more sniffs around the pool and tried to drink a little bit more pool water, and that was that.  Overall, a great time.  If it hadn't have been for all that water, I'd rank it the best pool party ever!  So many dogs to play with and chase.  Lots of people petting me and calling me cute.  What could be better?

And now, if you'll excuse me, I'm beat.  Time for a nice long nap in my crate.

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