Ever since we announced we were getting an English Springer Spaniel we’ve been bombarded with comments like “Oh they LOVE the water”, “Ooo they LOVE the dirt and mud” and “They are such water dogs”.
Gavin and I were like “really? Our dog hates anything to do with water”. Or so we thought. Until very recently you couldn’t get our dog in the water for love nor money. He would tiptoe around puddles, pulling and pushing so that his little tootsies didn’t touch the water edge. If you threw his ball in the water (even at the very edge) he would give you a disgusted look and walk off spitefully. Rain was not his friend, he would refuse to go out of the door at the slightest hint of rain.
We wondered what was wrong with our dog, was he sick? A fake? A cat? All Springer Spaniels loved the water they told us. We finally came to terms with the fact that we would have a substandard dog in terms of swimming and stopped judging him for it. Until a couple of weeks ago when our little boy finally bravely took his first steps and then first swim in the water. Now he did this with dignity, with caution. He was testing the temperature, the speed of the river and the depth. He would not jump in, he was too clever for that.
I’ve mentioned that Loki has an unusual obsession with tennis balls and we found out in this instance that he WILL do anything for his ball. We gradually threw the ball further and further out onto the river. Every time he would gingerly retrieve the ball, going a little deeper every time. Until finally, he was swimming.
We are so proud.