Sunday, May 10, 2009

first swim of the spring

Yesterday was a beautiful day (as is today), with bright sunshine and temperatures in the mid 60s, so I took the three border collies to the nearby park to play. They all heat up pretty quickly, and since it was warm enough I walked them over to the swimming hole on the other side of the park to cool off and get a different form of exercise. Curzon and Jadzia are well used to this routine, with me usually having to pull Curzon back multiple times from simply sprinting off to the water without me - all it takes is looking at him and saying "Do you want to go swimming?" and he's off like a shot. I wasn't sure what Ezri would do, as she liked playing fetch in the pool well enough at her first swim back in January, but this was natural water and she had hated climbing in and out via the ramp.

I shouldn't have worried.

As we got to the swimming hole, both the adults ran right by me and flung themselves into the water, trusting a ball would appear in front of them to fetch. After the first two were thrown, I turned to Ezri to watch her follow her older sibs right into the water with only a little hesitation. It took a few tries to get her to be OK with getting the ball (the technique does take practice), but she was enjoying herself greatly by the time we were done. I managed to take two videos of her with the camera (you can see Curzon swimming around in both of them as well).

Video one - learning to pick up the ball in the water

Video two - showing a nascent dock dogs jump

After playing in the water, I returned to the meadow to run them some more to dry them off a bit, and took a couple pictures of them as they ran. The one of Jadzia did not come out well, but the ones of Ezri and Curzon that did and are posted here and above. I'm glad that Ezri is willing to swim without the intensive bribing that it took to get Curzon to swim for the first time.

In other news, I have scheduled Ezri's spay appointment for Wednesday, May 20th. I spent a lot of time thinking about this decision, as while I do not intend to become a BC breeder at this time, she is such a sterling young dog that the thought of having a pup of hers was awfully tempting. Realistically, however, we would not be ready for another puppy for at least 5 years (whenever Curzon is ready to retire), and it's not fair to Ezri or to ourselves to keep her intact and going through heat cycles for 5 years in case we wanted puppies from her. I also don't think I would have the time to ensure the puppies got the best start they can, nor do I want to ship Ezri off for her pregnancy and whelping, so that was another mark against keeping her intact. Her full brother Remy and her 3/4 sisters Sprint and Hex are all definitely being kept intact for breeding, and I'm sure at least another few puppies from Race and Dazzle/Prancer are also being kept intact, so I'll be able to get a neice or nephew when the time comes.

But being logical doesn't mean I can't wish that I could do something. It would be a joy to have Ezri's puppies...just not practical. Le sigh.

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