Friday, April 3, 2009

Polar Plunge

While we were in Florida over the Christmas holidays, we gave Guinness his first experience with water while we were on an outing to Camp Blanding's Kingsley Lake. He had just turned 2 months old (almost 9 weeks). There were no waves at all on the lake and the water was quite warm. He was very wary to get close to the water, at first, but after a lot of coaxing he did venture in. He seemed quite frightened of it and did not stay very long. Remember,though, he was very young.

The next attempt was two days later at Kathryn Hanna Park in Jacksonville . This was different in that it was the Atlantic Ocean and there was sand and waves. The waves were not big, but they made noise.

He would not even get close to the water this time. The noise of the waves and the water going in and out troubled him. He loved the sand though.

Three days later we took a day trip to Daytona and were able to get onto the beach. The waves were a bit bigger and noisier and his fear of the ocean was more evident. Again, he would not go close to the water. The sand was his only interest. This was very disappointing to us for he is part Labrador Retriever and he is built for the water i.e., very muscular and web feet. But, as mentioned before, he still is a puppy. Time would tell.

This past week we took advantage of a rare warm, sunny day and went to the family park at Aberdeen Proving Ground here in Maryland. The park is located on the upper portion of the Chesapeake Bay. The water is slightly brackish and very clear. This particular day the temperature was hovering in the mid-sixties with a slight breeze blowing keeping the waves to a minimum. Even though the water was still, it was quite cold (about 48F/9C), however, this did not seem to bother the mighty Guinness.

Although there was relatively small amounts of sand, he found what there was and went crazy in it. He then went up to the water and became enthralled with it, however, like before, did not go in. After a few moments, I found him a stick and began playing fetch with him. He loves this game. Playing for a few minutes I then threw the stick into the water far enough from the shore so he would have to go in to retrieve it. He did, warily at first, but each time afterward he did not hesitate. This was a good sign.

Once we returned home, he was drained (as we were) and took it easy for the rest of the afternoon. Can't wait to see what his next adventure brings.

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