Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Fort Washington Barks: Marley's Maiden Voyage.

Marley taking a dip with Bo (holding stick).

Taking a quick break from the Rocky Run, I wanted to showcase a few photos from Fort Washington Park, last Sunday morning, where those of us present, human and canine alike, witnessed a singular event--Marley, the year & a half old German Shepherd Dog, taking his first swim. And in the mighty Hudson no less.

Chai, his human, didn't know if Marley would swim. All dogs CAN swim, instinctively, but they have to learn that they can swim, and that takes some of them longer than others. Many, even of retriever stock, will be wary of getting out of their depth. Max, at around five years of age, took his first swim in the Hudson last year--but only after watching other dogs doing it on several occasions, and only because he was after a ball, with his usual obsessive fervor. He got out of his depth, started paddling, and realized he liked it. A lot. But he still won't go out of his depth unless there's a toy to retrieve, and he has some idea where it is, out on the water.

Marley is a lot younger than Max was then, and exceptionally self-confident. I figured he'd catch on fast--GSD's are notorious water fiends.

Max doesn't know what all the fuss is about--so Marley can swim. Big whoop. Throw the damn ball already.

Later, we met another great Hudson swimmer--Chloe, a dog of indeterminate heritage, with a coat of formidable insulating properties. Her owner found her as a stray, and adopted her--she's not the fastest swimmer, but with that coat of hers, she can venture into the water in the coldest weather with no ill effects (Max can only swim in warm weather).

Seriously, I think this dog is 70% hair, and only 30% actual dog. But what's there is cherce, as Spencer Tracy might say.

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