Monday, June 23, 2008
Teaching a Bulldog How to Swim
Here is Malia telling me she wants to go to the beach. She just plain loves the beach, as I'm sure many Island dogs do. The only thing is, this brand of doggy can't swim for nothing. Heavy bones I guess, one time we put an orange doggy life preserver on her and she floated upside down like some weird buoy or something.
Why didn't the Lord give me a nice black female Labrador or something? But as fate would have it, I inherited a beautiful American Pit Bull named Malia. It's really my daughter's dog and she can have it back but we're so attached I guess Samantha gave us a break. Me, the Labrador dude, with a freaking pit bull. I'm having a Rodney Daingerfeld moment here.
But we're working on the surf part. We're definitely not ready for the "ride on the boogie board" trick yet - that was funny as heck. Two weeks ago we learned that if a big wave comes, you have to jump up or you go under ... she's a jumper now. Little steps.
People ask what kind of dog it is and I say "American terrier" without mentioning "pit bull" because I don't want to set any alarms off. I've seen what some of these dogs can do and am realistic. The most important thing is to not ever let them loose, since they tend to form hunting packs with three or more dogs of any kind. Results can be disastrous. Get real that is their nature when wild. That's why Malia's on a short lead and constantly watched.
But she's a lover, has to sleep between us at night, and only freaks out over the possum, which she hates with a real passion. We have a routine worse than the Army, with mandatory walks here and there, some play, sleep, belly rubs, and loads of kisses for no good reason. I swear she can tell time. Plus she's a real hit on the beach, and let's all the kids pat her. Dudes and babes nod approvingly like I'm macho or something (huh?). Getting better about passing other dogs walking on the beach too! This was a big one. I'm sure Malia just wanted a sniff, poor girl, but we can't jerk daddy's arm off trying to do so.
Teaching a bulldog how to swim is really something, an almost hopeless existential cause like Sisyphus trying to push a giant rock up a mountain. For now, we stay where we can stand, and we don't seem to mind the ridiculous flaming orange doggy life jacket. As long as we're not upside down.