We had friends over for a swim today and the three Rotts followed us around the pool as usual. I decided it was time for Axl to try out the water since he seemed to be the calmest when we were swimming. After getting him near the pool edge I picked him up and lowered him in the water and held on to his collar to keep him away from the pool liner. He had a very powerful stroke with his front legs splashing huge amounts of water but he had no buoyancy and his rear end sank to the bottom. He was standing on the pool floor paddling madly with his front legs. After a few minutes I helped Axl get out of the pool. He didn't seem to understand the steps at the shallow end so after placing his front paws on the concrete walkway I had to lift his hind feet up the steps.Jackie went and got the life jacket we bought several years ago for Sassy. Sassy was the next to go for a swim. Sassy was swimming for about 3-4 minutes and while she was a little nervous, she wasn't as panicked as she was years ago. She has not been in the pool for almost 5 years and she seemed to like it. Since her ACL surgery four years ago she has been reluctant to do exercise. The water therapy should be good for her.THEN I thought about taking pictures!!!!! Then after getting the camera I put the life jacket on Axl and picked him up and lowered him into the water again. He did not resist going in a second time and with the life jacket on his rear end had more buoyancy and he was able to paddle with all four feet. Here is one of the pictures my wife took.We did manage to get the life jacket on Ruff but couldn't get him near the edge of the pool to put him in.
Speaking of having the camera handy to take pictures, we had a moment a few days ago that makes me want to carry it around everywhere. Jackie and I took the boys out for a walk in the back and while we were there we spotted Axl very intently studying a small Blue Spruce tree we have. The tree is only about 5 ft tall and at first Axl was walking around the tree looking under the lowest branches. Then Axl began poking his nose into the higher branches and we decided to check it out and see what had caught his attention.
Sitting in the upper branches about 2 ft above the ground was a small mouse. The mouse was climbing around the tree trunk trying to avoid the curious dog. I didn't think Axl ever saw a mouse before because he was so very curious. It took some effort to get him away from the tree when it was time to come in the house. I send this little story to the foster mom who arranged the adoption and she replied: But Axl has seen mice – and eaten them! He’s quite the mouser if he can reach them. No need to worry about mice in the house with him around!