Chester swimming –
Percy’s Point is one of our favorite spots right now. It’s quiet, peaceful and the perfect spot for Chester to getting his swimming in. He’s come a long way since his first swim in June. I was afraid my water dog would be a panic swimmer forever. Not so, he LOVES it.
Percy’s Point on Pelham Lake has become one of my favorite places to bring Chester. The lake is such a calm, quiet place. This particular spot boasts a few picnic tables and a couple of benches. I was leaning against one of the tables the other day and realized my father had made all of them a few years ago.
We started visiting this spot out of necessity. Chester likes to be in water when he gets hot but the only water on our property now is a slimy, muddy little brook that is trickling water from the beaver pond above it. There is no other word to describe it other than gross – and stinky. When he’s hot he will go into the reeds around it and lies down so he comes out covered with this rust colored goo, yuck. We’ve tried hosing him off but it’s pretty ineffective and he won’t get into the pool we have for the dogs. Usually I hose most of the mud off and then bring him to the lake and make him swim for a while until he’s clean. He thinks this is quite a treat and we are now wondering if he goes into that muck just so I’ll take him to the lake. Hmmmmm.
There are times that are particularly nice to bring him there. Last night I was canning and didn’t get to go until almost dusk. On the way a coyote crossed the road in front of my car. They elicit fear in many and if there is a pack of them near your yard at night I can understand that – they are loud and talkative. I’m thinking they are probably the reason I haven’t seen a rabbit since winter as well as every other critter that usually makes its home around the property. I have to tell you though, they are a magnificently beautiful animal. They have the most intense yellow eyes, they stare right through you.
As I was tossing the ball into the pond a couple walked by with their little dog on a leash. I told them about seeing a coyote not too far from there. Anyone here that has small animals knows that letting them loose this time of day always runs the risk of losing them. As beautiful as they are being aware is always the best idea. Meanwhile Chester kept swimming after his ball paying no attention to the couple or their little dog. There’s is nothing that keeps him from his game.
I knew Chester had water dog potential when I saw his huge, webbed feet. He had a bit of a rough start but everyone has to start somewhere.
I’ve been taking him to Percy’s Point on Pelham Lake once a week to fetch his tennis ball in the water there. It’s a great spot, no distractions. It slopes gently into the lake and it’s easy for him to return with his ball. This is a game he has truly learned to love.
This past weekend we took the next step and brought him boating with us. We found one of our favorite beaches in a cove on Harriman Reservoir, getting there early enough to secure it.
The only other thing we needed was a tennis ball. If Chester has a ball there is nothing that will distract him from the game, other dogs, kids, nothing.
We had him fetch for a good hour and a half which he did joyfully. His swimming has improved tremendously and he will fetch a ball thrown quite a ways without hesitation. It’s just what you want in a water dog – of course if we brought the other dogs they would have shown him the ropes.
We brought Chester up to the lake yesterday for a swim. He’d never been swimming before but we knew he would chase a tennis ball anywhere. It was a little windy so the sound isn’t that great on the video but this clip pretty much says it all.
After retrieving the ball a few times he became a much more calm swimmer, started swimming without all of the splashing.
The most difficult part of the day was getting him to leave.