The first year we decided our beloved rescue mutt Ellie B aka Dogamous Pyle was better off with us in the Happy Cottage in Cape Cod rather than a week boarding somewhere in Syracuse, we fibbed to our year-plus pup.
We told her a mucky nearby dog park pond was the ocean.
The second year we discovered the quite lovely Nickerson State Park and its pristine Cliff Pond, dogs invited. It’s on our Traditions List.
We still keep the code word ocean for this lovely spot in Orleans, even though Provincetown and the Atlantic has been added to Ellie B’s repertoire since as well. Her eyes light up with recognition as she jumps into the back seat of the Mazda.
This year the young summer worker who took our ten bucks out-of-state parking fee directed us toward a different beach than usual.
On go the two leashes and the gentle leader for maximum wander, up rolled go the legs of MDW Karen’s shorts, off go her flip-flops, out comes my iPhone 6. What an adventure. No, we still won’t unclick the collar for fear that she’ll go her own way, never to be seen again. That adventure we don’t need.
Dogamous Pyle adores finding fish underfoot and scratching them out. It’s all a big game to our frisky 4-year-old. Feel, dig, repeat.
This time, though, when we drove back to our second usual beach at Fisherman’s Landing because the empty spot where young guy directed us clearly had a no-dogs sign posted, Karen led the dog out further and further than her past canine comfort zone.
All of a sudden, our dog’s feet floated out from under her. Facing me on shore, she paddled toward papa. Once. Twice. Three times. Ellie B aka Dogamous Pyle has learned how to swim.
We could see the pride in her eyes when we took a long walk afterward to allow some drying time before jumping back in the car.
And now a gallery so you can see why Nickerson is on our Traditions List.
Click on any gallery photo for a description. Click and hold on the bottom right photo for an enlarged slide show.
Have you ever had to coax a dog to swim? Would you unleash your dog and hope for a natural and happy return? What’s your favorite photo and why?