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Dog Meets Lake

The challenges of  introducing a grown dog to the wonders of lake life.

Sharing Our Love of the Lake

When we adopted our dog on Christmas 2001, one of our first thoughts was that it was going to be great to share our lake house and all the fun we had there with him.  We all had thoughts of boating and swimming with him and throwing sticks in the lake for him to fetch. What we didnít take into consideration was that maybe he would not like the water or the boat. The dog, Chaz, was four years old when we adopted him. He definitely came with his own ideas of what was, and what was most decidedly not fun. And water was in the category of not fun.

Water Dog or Watch Dog

Some breeds of dogs are very water oriented. Apparently  spitzes are not one of them. Chaz is an American Eskimo Dog, also known as Eskies, which is a type of spitz dog. In two years Chaz has yet to put a single dainty paw in the water of his own free will. Even if his favorite ball goes in the water, he will watch it bob up and down, and bark for help getting it back, rather than go in after it.

Chaz has a big heart, and is very loyal and protective of his family and home. An exceptional watchdog, he barks a warning signal anytime anything is out of the ordinary. When the water laps gently to the shore after a boat passes, Chaz must bark at it. Similarly, when the motor of the boat gets louder and the boat moves, he must bark at it. If he is on the boat, he gets even angrier and barks more fervently. The only way we have found to keep him from barking the entire time he is on the boat is to have him on our laps, or on the seat with our arms around him. At the dock he protects us against any fishermen who dare to brave our cove, as well as friends who try to visit by boat.

Never Giving Up

Despite the initial challenges of introducing Chaz to the water and boating, we've decided to keep trying, hoping eventually he will relax enough to enjoy it with us. We take him out for gentle boat rides, and always talk to him calmly. We try to keep him in a vest on the boat, but he hates the constraint.

Chaz loves nothing better than for one or more of us to call him and offer a walk to the lake, anytime of day or night. Once the offer has been made he waits eagerly at the nearest door. He checks out all the perimeters along the way, and scouts ahead as we take the walk down the hill to the dock. On reaching the dock he checks to make sure all is safe before we join him. Maybe this year heíll enjoy more of the lake experience. 


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