I really hoped this year would be the year we got Shiva to go swimming. Not just the fake swimming she does either, where she’ll go in as far as her belly and then act like the water has turned into molten lava. Real, paddling around, can’t-touch-the-bottom swimming. This summer was her third summer with us. Her third summer with this in her backyard:
She even has her own private dock! What could be better? She should have several dock diving championship ribbons by now. One of the reasons I wanted a dog is because I thought our little house on our little lake would be every dog’s dream. I thought we were going to have to work hard to keep her out of the water. Instead, I have to bribe her with treats to get her to peak over the side. You have no idea how long it took to get even this far.
The cat is braver near the water than she is. Shiva always manages to look so tortured. There must be evil dog-eating fish in our lake that only come out when I’m not looking.
It’s more than a little embarrassing. Our neighbours frequently invite their friends over for a swim in the lake. These friends usually bring their black lab who has no problem jumping into the water. I love watching him swim all the way to the other side after a bumper. He seems to have so much fun. I’ve tried getting Shiva to watch him, thinking it might help her realize the Dartmouth Sea Monster is nothing but a myth.
“See him out there, Sheevs? There are no monsters. Ogo Pogo lives in the Okanogan, not in our dinky artificial lake.”
Judging by her expression, she doesn’t believe me.
“Oh yeah? Well what about all those ripples? Huh? What’s causing those?”
“It’s the muskrat, Sheevs. A rodent.”
We recently bought her a life jacket in hopes it will help her feel safer out there. She’s worn it a few times inside and seems to be okay with it. We shall see what happens when we try taking her down to the lake. She may not be as thrilled with her new outfit when it’s paired with water. But at least she’ll look cute in the photos.
That’s all that matters, right?