Tuesday, July 16, 2013

My Life Vest

First I want to say that I'm not getting paid to talk about how wonderful this life vest is.  My blog isn't that kind of blog. When I find something wonderful and a company that gave us really good service I think I should praise it and them.

As I mentioned last month, I discovered I couldn't swim anymore because my right leg would suddenly freeze up once I couldn't touch the lake bottom, and then I would sink.  Mommy ordered me an EzyDog Doggy Flotation Device from Backcountry K9. This vest is a bit old fashioned. If you look at it compared to the newer models it seems much bulkier, not as form fitting, but it had a longer back than the other vests and, since Mommy wanted to give me as much support in my hind end as possible, she chose this one.  She ordered it on the 2nd of July and less than an hour after she ordered it she got an e-mail saying it had been shipped!  We got it on the 5th of July which we considered AMAZING because of the holiday being in the middle.   I tried it out a couple days later and it worked GREAT!! I was a little scared when Mommy told me we were going to swim and when my back legs left the sand I panicked a little, but Mommy kept me in the deep water and I quickly realized that I wasn't sinking! Then we took our swim out to the sand bar and it was a little harder than normal because I was swimming with only three legs, but when we turned around to head back to shore my right leg suddenly started paddling! Mommy and I were both very excited when we got back to shore and we went to Tastee Freeze to get a celebratory PupCup.

Me in my life vest after our test swim

Mommy found it very awkward trying to carry the vest to the lake (we walk about 3 blocks to get to the swimming spot) so Mommy decided that what the vest needed was a carrying case. She dug around in the closets and came out with her stuff sack for her bedroll from way back in her vagabond days.  Then she found a strap for a broken gym bag and some old key chains and VOILA! she made a carrying case for the vest.  She even put a poop bag holder on it so that we wouldn't have to worry about being caught short.

See, the whole vest fits in the case!

We took another swim a few days later and my right leg remembered how to work right away this time.  I swam to the sandbar a couple times and swam along it too for a bit.  It was wonderful! Then Sunday we went back to swim and this time when I swimming out to the sandbar with Mommy I noticed that a neighbor was swimming in the lake too so I decided I needed to swim out to her and show her my new vest.  Mommy had stopped at the sandbar and was surprised when I just kept going.  Mommy called out to the neighbor that I was trying to catch up and the neighbor stopped her swim so I could say hi. We talked for a bit and then I swam back to shore. Mommy figures I swam about a 1/4 mile (round trip) with some treading water in the middle so she thought I'd be very tired and want to go home, but I didn't.  I stayed in the water at a level where my feet were just touching the ground and walked around and relaxed, and at one point I realized I could go out into deeper water and not have to paddle so I did and I just hung in my vest and relaxed in the cool water. It was great.  When we were done I wanted to go get a PupCup but Mommy said no because she didn't want me to try to walk 1 1/2 miles after all that swimming.  I pouted so she said she'd make me a homemade one and I agreed to go home.

Homemade PupCup

Last night, because it was so hot out, Mommy decided to take me for a sunset swim. She figured with my long Sunday swim I would probably just wade or maybe hang in the vest like before, but when we got to the lake I found a stick and brought it to Mommy to throw.  She helped me into the lake and then threw the stick and I swam out for it and brought it back five times.  Mommy stopped me then because she was afraid I'd overdo it. So we both just lounged in the water until the sun was almost set and then we went home and I got another homemade PupCup and Mommy went into our storage area and pulled out my Dead Ducky.  She had stored it last year when I stopped wanting to play fetch and insisted on only swimming out to the sandbar with her.  She hung Dead Ducky by the back door so she'd remember to take it the next time we went swimming.  Next time was this morning because it was still really hot.  This time Mommy brought her camera so she could take pictures of me in action.  I fetched Dead Ducky 8 times and then I decided I just wanted to wade a bit.

Me fetching Dead Ducky

Me wading

Mommy figured we were done for the day and then a golden retriever came by riding on a surf board.  It is bad enough that golden retrievers think they are so golden, but to be taken around the lake like an Egyptian pharaoh was just too much for me.  I immediately started swimming out towards that golden retriever with the intention of biting him, or at least capsizing his board.  Mommy was shocked and had to dive in and go after me even though she wasn't planning on swimming herself this morning.  Mommy caught up with me before I could catch up with that dog and she grabbed the handle of my vest and made me turn around and go back to shore.  She said that other dogs get to use the lake, but really, do you call that USING the lake?

You can just see he thinks he's something else, can't you?

Mommy said that since she was wet anyway she'd do some swimming so she swam out to the sandbar and down the shore a bit.  I didn't go out to the sand bar, but I did follow her along the shore for a bit.  She didn't want to swim too far away because she wanted to be able to keep her eye on the camera.

Having a post swim stick chew before walking home.

All in all I just have to say I LOVE MY NEW LIFE VEST!!!  Mommy says she feels we have already gotten our money's worth out of it too since it makes me so happy and lets me act like my much younger self.  So, if any of you dogs out there are getting up in years and are having trouble swimming we highly recommend getting a life vest.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

My Monthly Diary for June, 2013

I should start by saying Happy 4th of July everyone!

I had a pretty busy June.  I had all my socializing to do.  For instance, one morning Mommy and I were taking our morning walk and when we passed by the diner there was a guy sitting on the bench in front of it. He was talking on his cellphone, but I always assume anyone who is sitting alone and talking really wants to talk to me so I stopped in front of him and leaned against him and stared up at him until he said, "Hold on. I have to pet this dog." Then he tucked his phone into his shoulder so he could give me a good two handed scratching while talking.  Mommy was very embarrassed when she got to the end of my zipline and turned around to see what I was doing, but I wasn't embarrassed at all. He was sitting alone and talking. He needed to pet me.
It was Grandpa's birthday this month too, but I didn't get to go to the celebration. Mommy didn't either because it was over 1 1/2 hours away from our house, but she did get together with Grandma, Grandpa, her grumpy oldest brother and his new wife who is not grumpy at all.  I had to stay home because it was a humans only place.  I thought that Mommy was going to be gone all day so I got comfy on the bed and went to sleep.  Well, Mommy came home and, since I wasn't expecting her, I didn't hear her come in.  She checked on me, but saw how tired I was so she let me sleep.  I slept for 1 1/2 hours after she came home.  She says she made all sorts of noise, including knocking a broom and dustpan out of the broom closet, but I don't believe her.  Here is the embarrassing movie she took of me:

Also this month Mommy and I went to Mommy's coworker's anniversary party, which I already blogged about.

Then Mommy and I went up to Wisconsin for a quick arrive Saturday/leave Monday trip.  Mommy's grumpy oldest brother and his not grumpy wife were there and Missy and her family were there, but I didn't get to see Missy because she was staying at the grumpy oldest brother's house and didn't come to Grandma and Grandpa's house, which was too bad.  Mommy got her brothers to put in the peddleboat so we could take rides and I got to ride in the big boat too.  Mommy helped Grandpa with a couple of little chores and managed to gouge a chunk out of her arm while doing one of them.  I tried to go swimming, but when I got out to swimming depth, my right leg went up into swimming possition and then locked there! It was very scary and I went back to shore. Mommy swam out for my ducky and she tried to swim a bi more, but she complained that the water was too cold.  Mommy has ordered me a life vest and we hope that will help me swim even with my wonky leg, otherwise I'm going to be just a wading dog from now on.

Our town had its Fourth of July celebration on Saturday like it always does and Mommy's best friend since first grade happened to be in the area so the three of us walked to Tastee Freeze and I got a PupCup and Mommy got a malt and Mommy's friend got nothing because she had come from eating out with other friends and was full. Then we went to Mommy's and my spot at the feed store to see the fireworks.  The old folks who hadn't come last year were there this year. One of them had had surgery last year right around fireworks time which was why they couldn't come.  Mommy, her friend and I sat on my sleeping bag and they talked A LOT until the show started.  Right before the show started these weird lights came floating up from the park where you are SUPPOSED to go see the fireworks.  People were wondering what they were.  First Mommy said, "UFOs." then when they got a little closer Mommy said, "Drones." Then when they got closer she said, "Oh, they are floating lanterns." One of the old people asked, "Lanterns?" and Mommy said, "Yeah, you know, you make a tissue paper lantern and you hang a tea light under it and it heats up and floats like a hot air balloon." Then as we watched more and more of them float over head Mommy said, "Yeah, they float like little hot air balloons straight towards our house... I hope the the candles burn out completely before they come crashing back down to earth. We didn't see where they landed, but it must have been after they passed our house because we didn't find any of them that night. Mommy's friend was impressed by our little town's show.  We had some fireworks she'd never seen before, like one that made the shape of a star and one that was half blue and half white. I made sure to sit pressed up against Mommy's friend or on her lap for most of the show because it was special she came.  Mommy said her friend was a very good sport because she is kind of afraid of big dogs, but she couldn't have been afraid of ME!!  When the show was over I stood up and barked at the sky because I wanted more fireworks.

Finally, the big happy news this month is that the stinky next door neighbors moved and the new neighbors don't smoke!! No more constant haze of cigarette smoke! We can open our windows again and Mommy can leave the back door open so I can go on and off the porch as I please and Mommy and I can hang out in the hammock without Mommy having to wear a mask.  The new neighbors have a puggle, who I've sniffed through the fence, but have not met properly yet.  Hopefully I'll meet it soon.  Sometimes when the new neighbors open their door our porch and yard stink of air freshener, but that isn't too bad, and we know that their only other choice would be to hire a disaster clean up crew or one of those companies that clean houses after someone has lain dead in them for days to come in and destinkify the house and since they are young, they probably can't afford that.