Dogamous takes to the paddle

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.

Ellie B eyes the surf.

Ellie B eyes the surf.

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.

Fish finder.

Fish finder.

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.

A proud new swimmer in the family.

A proud new swimmer in the family.

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.

Proud dog.

Proud dog.

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?

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46 thoughts on “Dogamous takes to the paddle

  1. “A proud new swimmer in the family.” My favourite photo – because it is a great combination of logical thinking (I need to move or I drown), instinct (there’s my daddy on the safe shore) and enthusiasm (I can make it!).

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  2. We have an off-leash dog beach over here on the Pacific. I was worried the first time I took my dog, but she went and fetched a stick from the big bad ocean like she had been doing it all her life. Now, I can’t keep her out of the water.

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  3. Beaker and Emma were beach dogs in Charleston. However, they are NOT water dogs. Throwing them into the ocean would not end well, which isn’t to say I won’t try. I’ve seen Emma swim once against her will for a few feet, after getting stranded. She was not happy. Props to Elie B!

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    • It took three years for Karen to coax her into deep enough water for her to float, so this was a Major Moment, Wormy. Maybe Beaker and Emma will get theirs yet. I just hope it doesn’t come in the East River …

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  4. Looks like a great spot for dogs Mark, most dogs enjoy the water and it’s great to see them playing in the small breakers on the shore, we have an inland river here and my dog used to race to it, even our swimming pool at home was a playground for here.
    Enjoyed your post.

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  5. Outside of dog parks, I let Sadie off leash VERY RARELY. She loves a good hunt, so she’ll track and chase. I used to take her out to this pond in Georgia, and if no one was around, I’d let her go. She absolutely swims. Swimming would be a lot safer here, cause no gators, but I can’t think of anywhere so scarce in population. To be honest, I never fear she’ll run away and not come back, so much as I fear she’ll be hit by a car. Now and again, she gets out of our fence and runs amok in the neighborhood for 15-20 minutes (I think that’s how long it takes her to smell and pee on all the things, lol) but for that short time she’s out running, I am scared to death she’ll get out into the big street, and Moo cries horrifically, so we really have to keep an eye on her when we’re out back.
    I do let her out at night to chase off a stray tomcat. She does it, runs back, and gets a cookie. She doesn’t roam at night. *shrugs*

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    • Before we broke down and got the new fence, puppy Ellie would wiggle under or through the smallest daylight and run around the neightborhood like a wild woman, Joey. I’d chase her with a bag of PuppyRoni in hand, waving one and trying to lure her back in to no avail.

      We live just one block from the big street, and of course she’d dart across into the across neighbors’ backyards and tease us about continuing through further to really dangerous houses if she went past those backyards and fronts into the street.

      The one time she made it all three blocks up our street to the main road and into the Dunkin’ Donuts parking lot, our hearts were in our throats. Fortunately, a jogger said she’d been following him, and continued running into his fenced front yard a street up from the DD, and closed the gate on her. Phew.

      Your Sadie is a good one. Better than Ellie B for instincts on coming back. It’s tough with Moo’s fright, though. That’s an added element to consider!

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  6. Love the first photo, Mark with such beautiful clear water and two nice subjects captured by your camera. I am a playing my usual catch up on weekend with my friends. Thanks for taking me along to part of my favorite parts of the U.S.!

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  7. Aww, that’s so sweet! You’ll never get her out of the water now, will you? And did YOU remember to bring your beach shoes this year so you’d have no excuse not to get in the water?

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