Monday, June 14, 2010

Tips for saving drowning dogs

A few days ago I jumped in a lake and saved a chesepeake bay retriever puppy. She had not yet learned the proper smooth gliding motion of swimming and was half way across the lake and frantically paddling way too hard and got exhausted, she was not keeping her head above water as well and still had a long ways to go, the sun was setting awful fast, and so in I went after her. I did not want to risk waiting until she was under the surface of the water as it probably would have been impossible to find her then. I made several mistakes, and I am going to share those mistakes in hopes this helps someone else who may be in my situation someday.

~I dont care who is around, do NOT wear your clothes in the water. Strip down to undies and bra. My thought was I'll take my clothes off in the water if necessary. Nope, that is pretty much impossible to do. Take them off BEFORE you go in the water. It is WAY harder to swim with clothes on. Also, you will appreciate dry clothes when you get out. I was wearing yoga sweat pants and a t shirt. The yoga pants were the biggest problem, as the legs stretched out way too long. This really got in the way. The weight of the wet clothes was exhausting.

~Take the leash with you in the water. When you get to the frantic dog, clip the leash on him/her, and then just tow the dog in behind you. I look like I got in a fight with a tiger. I have scratches all over my torso, arms, face and neck from having to handle a frantic dog directly as I was trying to swim her to shore. Not to mention if you have to handle the dog directly, it impedes your swimming movement, exhausting you further, and you get water splashed in your face as you are trying to gasp for air.

To show you what I mean by the pup not yet having learned the proper smooth gliding effortless, I am posting these pictures:

^^^Fred, an experienced swimmer who has mastered the smooth effortless way of swimming.

^^^Nita, an inexperienced swimmer

Also, if you are going to take an inexperienced dog/pup swimming, have your bathing suit on so you are prepared to jump in and assist if necessary, and make sure there is plenty of daylight left. If you have a small boat, all the better in case he/she goes way out far away.

1 comment:

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