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All Things Dog Blog

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Posted by: PAWSTOPLAYINC in The Dog Blog

Toby and the Pool

It was just another Monday, but I did have a very busy week ahead of me. At least 50 walks to do and I was on my own this week. And YIPPEE , it also happened to be my birthday. But since I have passed my 20s…30s…and (YIKES) the dreaded Uh-OH- 4-0 mark, I don’t care much to celebrate and was more than happy to share my special day with my loving, wonderful pet clients.

I started the day out early… way out west. I love it out there when the morning is so quiet that all you can hear are the animals, both domestic and wild, already at work and play. Roosters crowing, donkeys braying, horses neighing, birds chirping, dogs barking and….well you get the idea. I arrive at my first stop and as I unlock the door I was greeted with a concert of barking… this happens when six rescued dogs of varying breeds hear me but cannot see me entering the house. Rocky, the puggle, is the bellower; it’s the beagle in him. But Cheyenne and Shane (the enforcers) give him a run for his money. I quickly free everyone from their crates and/or play pens and we quietly file out of the back door in an orderly manner (then I wake up) ok…truthfully – everyone plays “Last man out is a rotten egg” …. and I try to not get tripped or maimed in the process.


The back yard is GINORMOUS (that’s a word right?  Well, it should be!) with one area that is fenced around the pool and then another, much larger area of grass, that is also fenced where all the dogs go to graze, nosh on fallen mangoes, bark at the neighbor’s dog … and do their business. Toby (don’t tell the others that he’s my favorite) loves to play fetch with me, however, the others don’t always let us play alone and well that just makes Toby sad. So I try to play with him as soon as we go out because the others are too busy checking things out to notice our game of fetch. Now, for a girl, I can throw a mean ball, but, on occasion I have accidentally thrown the ball awry and it’s ended up in the pool. No problem, Toby can usually paw it to the side for a quick pick up or even a quick jump in to refresh himself and then he scores the ball on the way out. On this day, however, there was a problem. Toby jumped in and the ball sank to the bottom of the shallow end.

He started swimming in circles and I started to encourage him to the side with another ball, an identical ball. How smart can he be … I don’t actually have to jump in to get THAT ball do I? Shane and Rocky came over for a look-see. The circling continued and he drifted to the deep end … I was starting to get very concerned and was yelling for him to come out. It was like he was in a trance, he would not listen or even look at me … just kept circling. I had been taking photos of him just a few minutes earlier so I quickly threw my phone down and jumped in after him, fully clothed. Now, if you have ever been in the water with a panicked dog you know how their claws just come for YOU … I scooped my arms under his belly and swam us both to the shallow end where I could stand and I picked him up and put him down on the patio. By now all the other dogs had made their way back into the pool area to see what all the fuss was about. I barely catch my breath and there he goes … in the pool again! I yell “Goodness Toby! I will get the dang ball … give me a second”. So I follow Toby in, and now Shane, Rocky and Buddy (all the boys) jump in as well and they are all barking mad! The girls stood on the sidelines like Lifeguarding cheerleaders showing their support …. but NO WAY they were getting their hair wet! Down under the water I went to the bottom to retrieve the ball. I pop up right next to the propeller of claws and show him the ball. I am certain we are good now. I get the other boys to settle down and we all come out of the water again! Now, I already told you … I am old … and even older yet today! So as I am bent over … trying to get my breath … and trying not be too upset …

SPLASH!! Toby is back in for the third time. *&%$@# TOBEEEEEEEEEEEEE! I fling my soaking wet, tired, old body back into the warm water again. I would never let harm come to any of these pets … even if I die trying to save them, I will keep trying. Again with the circles …. I could not understand what had him crazed like this. I wasn’t taking any more chances; I grabbed the tired pup and trotted him into the house where we created a puddle the size of a small lake right there in the kitchen. I didn’t care, Toby was safe and I did not have to jump back in the water. We both fell on the floor… and laid there as the others stared at us quizzically through the French doors …


As you may have already guessed, Toby and I survived that crazy day. As with many rescued dogs, they have pasts that we know nothing about and have to piece together little by little. When his owner returned, I sheepishly asked her not to let her kids put the security camera video of my Toby ordeal on You Tube (yes, there is such a thing as bad publicity). She then explained that Toby was found after Hurricane Wilma hit South Florida and she thinks that he was caught in storm waters or perhaps a canal. We will never know … but next time I just may put life jackets on all of the dogs before we head out back to be safe …. I won’t be be getting any younger!

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