Sunday, September 16, 2012

Warm Water Swimming

Today Vegas and I went to Doggie Paddle, a warm water, indoor, therapeutic pool. Things started off a bit....rough. I had scheduled a couple days ago and put our appointment on my phone/Gmail calendar. This morning, in addition to the swim session, we had to get up early and go pick up our sardine order. In my head our appointment was 12:45. Was just loading up the truck and Vegas and logging the address into my GPS when I got an email from Julie, the owner. She was wondering where we were. Our appointment was 11:45...that was right about noon. S()#*$)*!)

After starting the drive there and repeatedly calling her until I got a hold of her, we rescheduled for 2 pm. Whew - we still got to go.

So we arrived and there was someone else there; we had to wait just a couple minutes. Then we went inside, I got changed in shorts, Vegas suited up in her life jacket, and we went into the pool.
Despite my going into the pool, she was still hesitant to get in and it took both of us initially to get her to walk down the ramp and ease her into the water. Initially Julie had one side of Vegas and I just moved along with them trying to keep in Vegas' line of sight. Eventually I had one arm across the chest band of her jacket and one on the handle to keep her stationary in the water. Not too long into our session, Julie turned on the jets. The jets provide more resistance during the swim. She said one minute swimming in the jets is equivalent to a five minute walk.

Every five minutes or so we would move her toward the ramp and let her rest. We learned pretty quickly we needed to let her rest rump first so she didn't climb out of the pool. She checked Vegas' ears for temperature and we monitored how she seemed to be doing to make sure she didn't get overtired. All said and done Vegas swam for about 25 minutes or so and had a good time. I think she enjoyed it and will get more comfortable each time we go. I prepaid a five-pack of swim sessions as I know I'll take her back and it'll be good to keep her conditioning up while we deal with her back issues.

Couple of notes... the pool uses a salt-water filtration system eliminating swimming in a bath of chemicals. You can read more about it here. After Vegas got out of the pool, Julie put drops in her ears to help dry them out and avoid risk of an ear infection from moisture. She also misted a spray onto Vegas' coat to help prevent her from drying out. And last but not least, while I came prepared with Vegas' life vest and towels for her and me, Julie has it all - life vests for dogs from 3 pounds to 180 and loads of towels. I highly recommend this activity for any dog, nice weather, cool weather, healthy or recovering from injury, young or aging. It's a non-impacting activity that is really good for conditioning, strengthening, building muscle, and maintaining health. And places like Doggie Paddle are a wonderful asset to our training toolbox.

1 comment:

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