The house we're staying at in the Outer Banks right now isn't exactly a top shelf rental property. There's wood paneling everywhere, it's not directly on the beach, and the kitchenware leaves a lot to be desired. What did convince us to stay here on our last pre-child vacation was a couple of things: it was a really good deal, they allowed us to bring Gus, and we have our own private swimming pool.
January and I both love the beach, but the prospect of our own swimming pool really made up for the few things this place is lacking, and so far we've really been taking advantage of it. For a couple of hours every morning and a couple hours in the afternoon January, Gus and I head down and swim, read, listen to music and just enjoy the amazing weather we've been having. Up until today, Gus has been a little apprehensive about the whole water situation; We've tried coaxing him in, carrying him out, and pushing him in, but nothing had really convinced him that he should care about getting in the pool with us.
Gus has always had an intense relationship with water. When he was a little puppy, we would take him down to the Walhalla Ravine near our house and let him thrash around in the creek. Since it was only a couple inches deep, he was all about it; He would spent hours running back and forth along the creek, biting at the surface of the water as it splashed up in front of him. We started referring to this as the Water Monster that he was chasing and trying to catch.
This morning, in a new approach to try to get him in the pool, we brought along one of his favorite toys and just set it on the first step of the pool. It was slightly submerged, so he had to stick his mouth into the water to get it. As he continued to paw at it, the splashing got bigger and bigger until he just couldn't stand the taunting anymore, and he just dove in. Here's a video we got of him dog paddling laps around the pool, biting at the Water Monster just inches in front of him.
Gus swam for a good hour this morning, and thoroughly exhausted himself. While I love that video, January got some incredible pictures of our afternoon at the pool, and Gus' first swim, that I think captures the day really well.
Having a pool has been so much fun, and now that we've finally convinced Gus to join us in the pool we're both looking forward to seeing if we can get him to play fetch with some of the tennis balls we have, or maybe even get him to jump in to catch a frisbee. At some point we're going to have to get him down to the beach to see how he does with the sand and ocean. I don't think we'll let him off the leash for that, though. The way he's taken to the water, he may just start swimming and never come back.