Many dogs go to physical therapy after they are injured. Water therapy, called hydro-therapy, is becoming popular. This is good because it builds up the dog’s muscles without putting any pressure on injured areas. It also helps prevent arthritis, which can set in after a serious trauma. And most dogs love swimming. Most. Not all dogs like the water. Some like to look at it but not go in it. Some like to play along the edge. But there are ways to make your dog comfortable with water.
Today started out like any other Sunday: Dad woke up at sunrise, I woke up with Dad. And then I went back to sleep.
He woke me up later and I went out with him on a short walk. Of course in the old days, it would have been a long run. But these are not the old days: These are the new days. These are “nowadays”.
It was a nice walk and then I came upstairs and went back to sleep in my bed next to my mom’s bed, until she woke up.
Then we were all one awake family.
My parents disappeared for a while in the middle of the day. I was pretty sullen to be alone and to not be included in whatever they were doing. But that all changed.
I saw my mom go and get a few of my poop bags and put them in her pack. Then she came downstairs with a bunch of towels, one of which is the towel she always uses to dry me off. I was getting ideas and the sudden and quick motion of my tail reflected that.
Then Dad came upstairs and he was jiggling his keys. I got more ideas.
Then Mom went and got the lead. My ears were on high alert. Then Mom attached the lead to my collar, opened the front door, said “Joey, come” and I knew this was good! Off we went to Dad’s car and me to my usual place in the back seat.
In a little while we were at my beloved lake. I love the lake and I love the dogs and excitement that surround the lake. We took a nice walk and ended up at a cove at one end, where there is a gentle sandy beach. My mom took the lead, and headed straight for the water and I headed straight for the water as well. It was glorious.
My mom said something to somebody about “physical therapy” and my being hit by a car. I wasn’t interested in her talk, however. I had a conflict of interest: I was interested in the water and in another dog that was swimming. It was difficult to make a choice but Mom solved that conflict: She pulled on the lead and said, “Joey, come. Let’s swim!” and I followed, and we started walking in the water along the shoreline.
We walked as far as we could go in one direction and there I saw Dad on land! Then we walked back to the original place, and there I saw Dad again! We kept walking back and forth along the soft sands of the shoreline and Dad followed us so he could be near us.
Soon I wanted to go in deeper. My parents said “Do you think he’s ready to go in deeper?” but I seemed to be telling them that I was ready for this so Mom let the lead out to its longest and let me swim out. Eventually I turned around to come back in.
We played this game for a while. Mom and I would head out into deep water and once there, I would decide to turn around and swim toward shore, where Dad was. I would go up on shore toward Dad, turn around, see my mom out there in the water, and decide to go back in the water toward her, as she said, “Joey come! and wiggled her fingers to urge me forward.
Once in a while I was distracted by the other dogs in the water but since I was on lead, there was no chance of going over there and though I tried, I understood my limitations.
After a while, both my parents said “I think that’s enough for the first day” and I was perfectly happy to stay on land and dry off.
Tonight I had a huge appetite and I am both eager to go out again and very tired.
Physical therapy is really a lot of fun, if you’re a dog!