08 June 2008

Last Night's Beach Trip Part 2: Water and Fetch

After lots of time digging, we went down to the water. Molly has never had much interest in the water, but with the heat I'm really trying to teach her that water is fun and not dangerous. Now please note that normally I can't bend down like that and even yesterday it was pretty painful, but I'm more mobile from a recent treatment and I'd taken painkillers that also were helping. Sometimes I push myself for Molly's sake. DH was wearing long pants and shoes that couldn't handle getting wet and it seemed to interest Molly when I played with seaweed in the water, so she would come in out of curiosity and could go out again when she needed to.

She even found some cool pieces of seaweed of her own to play with out in the water.

Everything was done positively and at her own pace. We were again using the leash as a flexi so it wasn't sloshing around in the water or getting tangled in her legs when the waves pushed and pulled it with the current. I most definitely was not trying to force her out beyond where she felt comfortable. All I try to do is show her how fun and safe it is then let her decide from there.

After Molly had had enough of the water, we went back up to the car and swapped the flexi leash for Molly's rope. There is a leash law right now on the beach, so we can't have her without anything. But when there is no one near us and we know she will come when called, we do let go of the rope. So we did that and played her custom fetch for a while.

Molly was holding downs while DH walked about 80-100 meters from her with his back turned, playing with the ball the entire time!! She continued to hold them until he released her. The distance you can see in the first picture between Molly and the ball is nothing compared to some she was holding from DH while he played with the ball.

After a good round of fetch, we just relaxed for a while. She was great then and walked with the rope in her collar on a loose leash. I was so impressed and proud. She got tons of praise. We wandered around the edges of the dunes and let her sniff the grass and just relax.

As we were getting ready to leave, an older couple came down from the dunes right near us with a small dog. Molly stayed responsive to commands despite her interest in the couple (we think the man reminded her of DH's father, whom she loves) and was able to load calmly into the car. She didn't get whiney or pull or anything and still responded to sits, downs, etc.

Overall it was a great little outing.

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