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Swimming comes naturally to dogs and my two English Springer Spaniels are no exception. As you can see from the picture above, Holly (the liver and white) and Harvey in front, taken a few years ago at the local dam, aren’t afraid of open water. Collectively they are know as the ‘H’ Team, because they do everything together.
Which is why I enjoy the summer so much because it gives us a chance to cool off by swimming in the pool. Sadly as time has gone by Harvey has become less and less interested in the water because of his age and arthritis. He’s 14 now and he’s slowed up a lot. But when we first arrived in Cyprus both of them loved the water, so much so they were both prone to falling in the pool when playing, so keeping an eye on them around the pool was essential. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve had to jump into the pool to rescue one or the other.
It’s a potential problem I’m acutely aware of and there isn’t a year that goes by, here in Cyprus, that a dog has been found drowned in a pool because the owner has gone out and left their dog outside, with open access to the pool. As you can see from the picture above, a toy rubber bone in the pool can be a fatal attraction to lively dogs. Since moving home in the last week or so, it’s been a bit disorientating for them and for me and the whole layout is taking them a while to get their heads round it. We have actually moved into an identical bungalow, but it’s in reverse to what we’re used to. However, the pool area is almost identical in that it’s the same shape and with the same amount of area around the pool for walking round. Of course, it’s winter here now and too cold to go in the pool, so we’ve not been in since we moved here.
This morning I did make the almost fatal mistake of assuming my dogs were coping with our new home and used to the pool after six years in a similar environment… similar, but not the same.
At three this morning, yes, you read that correctly, 3am in the morning, I awoke to a cold, dark, wet and miserable morning, with the rain lashing down. As always the first thing I did was let the dogs out for a pee. It’s been miserable weather lately and today promised more of the same wet weather we have had all week. I started the coffee and then stood at the back door waiting for two bedraggled dogs to wander in because the rain was so heavy. Holly came around the corner and into the kitchen, where I toweled her off. Next was Harvey, or so it should have been. But being Harvey, an inquisitive soul, he was probably sniffing something around the corner in the pool area. After a minute or two with no sign I decided to bring him in, or he was going to be soaked by the rain. But as I rounded the corner to the pool area what did I find… Harvey in the pool, swimming desperately in circles trying to find the steps out of the pool. He had never been good at finding the steps in the old pool, even after six years living there. This pool had steps on the opposite side and he was searching the area they used to be in the old house. Generally speaking they don’t wear collars around the house, I decision I immediately regretted. But luckily he had his anti-bark collar on and I managed, in the dark, to steer him to the steps and out of the pool.
With no apparent damage to him and both of us soaked to the skin, I rubbed him down, dried him off and then he decided that he had such a good time in the pool he was going to go a little potty with excitement. Harvey is a typical mad springer. After nearly an hour I managed to calm him down and he’s finally gone back to sleep, none the worse for his little adventure.
In future, I’m going outside with them come rain, snow or tornado, just to be on the safe side and because jumping in a freezing pool rescuing my dogs is not exactly a fun way to start a cold winter morning.
Copyright Tom Kane © 2018
I wrote this piece in December 2018. Harvey was just getting over his Ataxia problem and was doing well. Little did I know that by the spring of 2019 Harvey would contract nasal cancer and he would be gone by June.
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An expats odd and sometimes crazy life in Cyprus
World War 2 action adventure
A Roman Travelogue
A Perth, Western Australia, Travelogue
Science Fiction short stories & flash fiction