I have been thinking about doing this for a while, but after the vets had told me that Roland cannot run anymore, it seemed silly to delay it any further. Canine Dip and Dive is about 10 minutes down the road from us and offers the ability for dogs to swim for fun. It is not a hydrotherapy pool, but one simply for dogs to go swimming in!
Roland is not known for his love of water. Infact, often he will try his best to avoid a puddle instead of going through it. I was a little concerned about how he would react, so booked the pool party. Roland loves another dog, and I felt that if the others were having fun then he may have fun too!
The pool is set outside in farmland. Ample parking for us was brilliant and it was a short 30 second walk across the field to a secured area where the dogs could walk free. Roland looked keen. We were greeted by Andy, the owner and he took Roland up the steps, to basically a diving area for the dogs! He joined two Golden Retrievers and one Labrador cross (I think!) who were already retrieving toys! They were having so much fun!
Andy explained that they always made sure the dog could swim before expecting them to go off on their own. He got into the water with Roland and held him just above the water, checking his technique! Apparently Rolands was pretty good for a pug! He stayed with Roland and directed him to the ramp, so that Roland could get in and out.
Once Roland was out, he was a little reluctant to get in again! He stayed with Andy, on his lap and enjoyed watching the other dogs jumping and diving. At this point, I must say, how impressed I was at some of the dogs ability who jumped about 12 foot to retrieve a toy!
I was a little worried about Roland, so I asked if I could get in. (It was quite a warm day too, and I thought it may be nicer to be with the dogs!) I got in and Roland swam with me. He was really good, but as soon as he could, he would always turn back for the ramp. At one point, 3 dogs jumped in at once and the wave caught him by surprised. Another time, Roland tried to get onto the back of one of the retrievers… I think he was hoping for a free ride!
Eventually our 30 minutes was up and it was time to get out. I was expecting zoomies from Roland but I think he was too exhausted. He did get to say hello to all the other dogs though! As we were about to leave we were told that Roland had been really good. Most pugs will tend to sink to the bottom from there rear end, but Roland is good at keeping afloat! He also wasn’t anxious about going back in or trying to get out of the dry area. Despite us not being sure if he would enjoy it, I think he did. We will be back.
I think this is not only a great replacement exercise for Roland running, but also an ideal way for him to cool down in the summer. Something pugs struggle to do. I would wholeheartedly recommend this to anyones dog who loves swimming, or may need some gentle weight loss. The people that run this clearly love dogs too! This gave me a huge reassurance with a potential nervous dog!