Getting ready to swim.
Well, it was not exactly the English Channel, but a girl must start somewhere! Before testing out the swimming pool or the fast-moving North Fork of the Snoqualmie River, Heather eased me into action in the pond out back of the Getaway house. My first swim wasn’t much on distance, but my form was impeccable. I didn’t even need my life jacket, and it was a good thing, too, because they left it home. Honestly, it’s hard to find good help these days.
Chloë’s first swim.
Next, it was on the the fountain on the other side of the house. I knew it was there letting the sound of its gentle splashing lull me to sleep at night. Now I’m getting harnessed up and dangled in its refreshingly cold water. Swimming? Nothing to it. I’m sure I could have done several more laps if they let me. And getting to shake off all over Tara was the perfect lagniappe to my dip.
Chloë on diving board
Heather, Tara and Chloë in Snoqualmie River.
So that was enough for now. But tomorrow, I’ve got bigger things planned. The pool’s not that big. It’s deep, though. Maybe wading into a lake or a river is a better idea.
I’m going to give it more thought.
Considering her next move.
Heather says it so often that it’s about as meaningful as one of those pea-sized training treats. “She’s so smart,” she says, to anyone who’ll listen (usually, just Mike, and he seems to be hard of hearing). Well, now I am officially certified (see certificate below). And my excellent instructor, Wynona, even said that phrase to Heather at my last class: “She’s very smart.” And now I’ve got my “Diploma of Canine Excellence” to prove it.
Chloë’s Diploma from Puppy Kindergarten
Of course, I realize there’s so much more to learn. In fact, I saw a package with another three dog books arrive in the mail this week. But I know I’ll always look back fondly at my halcyon days at ol’ Ahimsa and that first puppy play time that set the stage for all future learning. Not to mention all those puppy smells in the alley by the back door into the classroom. I’ll never forget that overwhelming sensation–or the chance once a week to square off against and sometimes trounce dogs twice my size.
It was fun while it lasted, but now I’m perfecting my “deferential down stay” to make myself look as small as possible. I look at these videos, and I can see the handwriting on the classroom wall.
Chloë on the dock of the Sound.
My first road trip. Paris? New York? Syracuse?
Tacoma, the Newark of Seattle.
But at least we visited the best part of Tacoma, Point Defiance Park. We walked through the woods for more than an hour. Big trees. Smelled pretty good there, too. Then we hit the walkway along the beach. A little scary, I must admit. Lots of people going by, walking, running, wheeling all kinds of things, including strollers with little kids inside. I wouldn’t really mind one of those, frankly. Put it on my wish list.
Then they fed me and left me in my crate in the car, with a Kong stuffed with frozen yogurt and fruit. I was fairly content, given the fact they were inside a restaurant sharing big, creamy desserts. Oh well, I got to meet some new little people, Arabella and Mariya, grandchildren of Mike’s and Heather’s friends Kihm and Laurie Winship and daughters of their daughter Abbie, who is living at Joint Base Lewis-McChord while her husband Mike is serving in Iraq. Now I get to put a check mark next to “toddlers” on my master list of 200 things to expose a puppy to! I deserve something for letting them grab and poke me without making any fuss. Of course, their grandfather Kihm, a famous writer in his own write, is one of my most loyal supporters. I really appreciate that, which is why I’m terribly sorry if I scared those kids; they look frightened in this picture, don’t they? Well, maybe not. They could just be full from those desserts. All I know is, nobody saved anything for me. Has everyone just forgotten the doggie bag? Please.
Heather, Abbie’s girls and Chloë entertain passersby.