This weekend I completed the BFAST Triathlon in Jacksonville in 1 hour and 39 minutes. It wasn’t the time I was hoping for but with the huge, man-eating waves that were bombarding the coast (I exaggerate a teenie bit), I’m just happy to be on solid ground at this point. So after sending out results and pictures, I started thinking that it would be cool if there were some way to share my love of multi-sport with my dogs. (Well, probably just Tetsy given the others three’s lack of athletic ability…)
Finding a pool that will let you swim with a dog: tricky. Bike riding with a hound: impossible (picture Tetsy lunging after a squirrel and me being pulled into the brush getting wedged between two trees while dangling from my clipless pedals). Running: a great sport to do with your dog! But 1 out of 3 does not a triathlon make 😦
So even though I haven’t figured out a way to translate Triathloning to the dog world, my crazy train of thought did lead me to my blog idea for this week: water doggies!
The dogs at MoJo’s Backyard have a rich history of aqua sports. They have the turtle pool (a shallow kiddie pool that is shaped like a turtle!) which when filled with cool water is the ultimate fun summer activity. Then there is the trusty hose. Only the bravest of the exuberant will get into this game. The real water dogs will chase the powerful stream of water round and round, some following the water source straight to the hose nozzle, getting drenched in the process. There is much jumping, biting and squinted eyes in the hose chase.
The hose champion of MoJo’s is paws-down: Jack (we affectionately call him Jack-Jack). While Labs are notoriously water hounds, this little doggie is NOT a lab. Jack-Jack is a smallish, floppy-eared black dog with medium length hair, a poofy tail and a white chest. When we go outside, he will do his business and then go to where the hose turns on and look at the hose and look at you. Then he will look at the hose and look at you. This back and forth dance doesn’t end until he gets exactly what he wants: the chase. When it’s too cold to play in the water, sometimes he will stay behind when all the other little dogs go inside. And when you come to gather him up he will plead with you to please just turn on the water for a minute… And if you comply, Jack will do the craziest aerials you have ever seen. With a flick of the hose, he will jump into the air, eyes closed, mouth open, and nearly back flip to get a bite out of the stream. He is a pirouetting dog that could give the professional ballet a run for their money. If you point the hose to the ground, he will stomp his front paws in rapid succession in an attempt to anticipate it’s next move and he will weave his head like a snake charmer but believe me, it’s you he’s charming.
Stacey has recently added several additions to our water playground, a suspended sprinkler hose that rains down from the camouflage canopy in the outside run and a revolving sprinkler that you remember from your childhood (the ones that arced back and forth going “tsst tsst tsst tsssssssst”). The sprinkler hose is best for dogs like Dutch (a Lab, of course), who loves to play ball but gets too hot with his black coat in the sun. Turn on the sprinkler and voila! a hot day turns into a cool, misty afternoon of undisturbed ball chasing.
Summer is definitely my favorite season (yes, even Florida summers!) and I have to give water dogs a lot of the credit. Sometimes there’s nothing better for a bad day than a happy, wet dog.