My mom became friends
with Deborah Lee Miller-Riley, head of
Sports and decided I was going to be a
swimmer. We went to a lake with Aunt Deborah and her Portuguese water
dogs, Nikki and Kohl, to introduce me to the water.
I really hated it!
I was so afraid of the markers and the piers that kept moving around, I even
thought I would get seasick. They all totally ignored me while I barked
and ran around looking for someone to save me from what I knew to be certain
doom. Eventually, I did get my feet wet.
Then I saw Nikki go into
the water and was sure she would drown, so being the brave little cocker spaniel
I am, I tried to save her--little did I know that I had performed my first
rescue tow, and that they actually give ribbons to dogs who do this!
Then Mom started throwing
toys into the water, and Nikki and Kohl went right in and retrieved them.
I thought about it a minute and decided if they could do it, so could I. I
did and that started my swimming career. It was fun to show those big dogs
that this little girl can get the toy also!
Next Mom took me to a
Novice Water Training Workshop and we worked for two days on putting my head
under water and retrieving, first in a bucket and then in the lake, and learning
I would not put my head
into the lake to retrieve from underwater until I actually saw my Mom with her mouth in the
water, and it was pretty funny !
learning how to jump on and off boats (I need a lot more work on that), the next
part of the training was doing what they call the "Team Swim," which is actually
an "Aquatic Heel," which I thought would never happen since "Heel" is not one of
my strong points, but believe it or not, here I am with Mom actually doing a