Ever since Paddy’s unscheduled swimming lesson, when he admired the reflection of the dog gazing up at him from the surface of the swimming pool at our friends’ hacienda and ended up being fished out by his harness, he’s been wary of the water. When we took him to the beach, even when we threw his favourite ball in the water, he put the brakes on before he got his paws wet. He even runs a mile when Tony gets the hosepipe out or fills a watering can, and he hates having his paws washed.
So when a friend suggested we take him for a run by the shores of the salt lake at St Luis, we wondered if it was a good idea. Still, it was a nice peaceful spot, and it was a beautiful afternoon, so Glenys and I headed out there.
I’ve mentioned before how he loves to bound through the orange groves once he’s off the leash – and I love to see his unconfined joy as he romps through the trees and up the banks in search of those ever-elusive rabbits. Well, it was the same thing when we got to the lake. He bounced across the sand, and the crystallised salt at the shore, and then he ventured a tentative toe in the water. Whether it was the stillness of the water, the temperature, or the different ‘feel’ due to the presence of so much salt, this was a water encounter that was definitely not torture.
He charged around, picking up bits of driftwood – that’s the latest trick, he has to have something to carry on our walks and runs. Then he looked baffled when they disintegrated in his mouth. How do you explain to a puppy that not all wood is hard? You don’t – you just distract him, and when we threw a piece of driftwood into the lake, he went chasing after it. Job done!
I must have thousands of photos of Paddy now – after all, we’ve had him for almost a year now, and the camera is never far away – but these photos of him enjoying himself in the salt lake are particular favourites. He loved it, and so did we. Mind you, he wasn’t so keen on the bath when he got home!