I'm linking this blog to an article I just read on http://www.tampabay10.com/ about a man in Largo who teaches dogs to swim.
Frankly, the need for this surprises me. I've had many companion animals through the years and only a couple liked water enough to jump into our pool. The others, well, they just didn't. They sniffed the edge of the pool, the light bulb went off in their heads, they backed up and sat down. "We're sitting out this gig, mom, we've got you covered from right here," they seemed to say.
The article says about 10,000 dogs drowned in the US last year. It says dogs can find their way into a pool, but often can't find their way out because, as the swim teacher referred to in the article says, dogs lack a, "sense of depth perception" and panic. But some clearly don't panic. Two of mine absolutely soared through the air and did gleeful belly flops into the aqua abyss the first time they saw the pool. So does that mean certain breeds have depth perception and others don't?
Now, I am not undermining the usefulness of teaching your dog (or cat) to swim. I'm just saying...where were the guardians of those 10,000 dogs? Even if my water-loving dogs are doing their thing, I'm keeping an eye out, you know what I mean? If my husband is floating around on the pool recliner, I'm keeping an eye out. Why weren't all those people keeping an eye out for their companion animals?
I'll keep wondering I suppose, like I wonder why people can be so irresponsible when it comes to their animals and then blame the animal for misbehaving in some fashion.
Stay safe this summer and if your dog loves the water, let him or her swim, but still... keep an eye out for them!