Lake Dog

Terri jumped into the lake from the edge of the dock and paddled a few strokes away as I approached the ladder to climb in myself. Before I could get into position, a blur of dog shot around my left, became airborne, and went straight into the water. I realized it was Charlie just as he disappeared beneath the surface. An echo of “Oh shit, Charlie!” resounded through the otherwise quiet cove.

As neither of my dogs have ever swam before, I was a little concerned as I watched the water for a second to see if he’d resurface. Otherwise, I knew, it’d be time to dive into murky water and test how well I could see.

I sat on the edge of the dock, on the ladder, and waited for a few seconds that seemed to drag on forever.

To my relief I saw him come back into view a few moments later, struggling to reach the surface again. There was a look of panic plastered on his face as he splashed his head out, but conveniently he was already facing back toward me on the dock. I reached out and grabbed his front legs and lifted his front end onto my lap. I couldn’t get up without letting go of him, so I simply leaned back, dragging the rest of him out of the water and letting him climb over me back onto the deck.

Ordinarily, though he likes wading into water to chest level, Charlie staunchly avoids swimming and deep water. All I can figure for why he jumped in like that was that he panicked watching Terri go in and was trying to help. He’s usually penned up away from us while we swim at Smith Mountain Lake, but this time we’d put him closer, on the deck.

4 Responses to Lake Dog

  1. Marty Watkins September 24, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

    All dogs can swim, it comes to them naturally. How far they can swim depends upon how strong they are.
    I’m sure Charlie was scared to death when he realized how deep the water was. I know how scary it can be when you’re expecting to touch bottom, then suddenly find out your over your head, literally.

    • Brian Watkins September 25, 2012 at 2:07 pm #

      It’d be cool down the road to get some of those doggy life vests they carry so that Charlie (and maybe Sasha) could try again without any issue of going under or getting too tired. It’d be fun to swim around with them a little bit like that.

  2. Mom Winters September 24, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

    I believe like you Brian, Charlie was trying to rescue Terri. He didn’t know the water was that deep. It probably scared him when he did get in and find out he couldn’t touch the bottom. Wonderful memories from the Lake! 🙂 Great story like always!

    • Brian Watkins September 25, 2012 at 1:57 pm #

      Thanks! If I was zoned out at that time, it definitely snapped me back! I think he enjoyed the water once he was so “in”, as he acted like he wanted to jump in again shortly after. The only reason we didn’t let him was that we were done swimming and didn’t want to have to jump back in if he was having a hard time.

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