.

Heidi’s First Dog Paddle

Watch out, Missy Franklin: water-shy Heidi takes to the pool

Heidi was bored, bored, bored by the Olympic Games.  When her people spent too much time glued to the TV, she would try vainly to rouse the troops for a game of team squeaky toy, or plant herself upside down in front of the tube in her best belly rub position, kicking her heels in the air until somebody noticed she was much more talented than Misty May-Treanor and Gabby Douglas combined. 

But maybe it wasn’t just human attention Heidi craved. If dogs feel envy, she could have been just a little envious of all of those astonishing divers and swimmers navigating the waters with ease.  As mentioned before in this column, . If we happened to go to the beach together and I got swept away by the current, I had pretty much resigned myself to drowning instead of being dramatically rescued, Lassie-style, by the dog. 

But call it synchronicity, or maybe synchronized swimming: During the Olympic Games, Heidi had one of her occasional acupuncture appointments with in Northridge.  And through Dr. Parks, Heidi was offered a free swim lesson from Anne and Roger Mathys of Shadow Hills.

 Anne and Roger built a pool on their own property for their German shepherd Dana, now 6, who had a ruptured disc.  Instead of surgery, Dana's surgeon recommended water therapy.  So the couple built the pool, complete with an entrance ramp. Now all of their dogs take advantage, and they offered their dog-friendly pool to see if Heidi could benefit from swimming the way Dana did. (As an aside, if you haven’t seen this heart-tugging photo and story about a man and his elderly dog connecting in the water, you must). 

For years, Dr. Parks had been recommending water therapy for 10-year-old Heidi’s joint problems, but we’d never gotten around to it.  But, through her friends the Mathyses, here was a commitment-free chance to give it a shot.  I have to say for me this was less about future therapy and more about seeing whether canine instinct would take over and Heidi could swim if put to the test.

So, on Wednesday morning, Anne and Roger coaxed Heidi into the pool.  Actually, “lifted” is more accurate.  While Heidi adored Anne’s homemade chicken liver treats, she wasn’t willing to walk the ramp into the pool to get one.  Olympic gymnasts get extra points for sticking the landing – well, Heidi stuck to the landing, refusing to move her feet toward the pool, apparently thinking water is no place for a mountain dog. 

But once in the water, she paddled.  She’s not swimming on her own yet, but she got high marks from Anne and Roger for not panicking and kicking her back legs in the water instead of letting her hindquarters sink like some dogs do who are new to swimming.  She huffed and she puffed, but she paddled as Roger held her afloat. In fact, she went in the pool twice – although before the second round she did quietly head toward my car, like maybe nobody would notice a wet 70-pound German shepherd sidling away from the pool to catch a ride home, OK, that was fun, buh-bye now! 

After her own lessons, Heidi watched and whimpered softly when the water-happy Dana charged into the pool after her tennis ball, clearly loving every minute.  From a distance, the two dogs look so much alike that for our video I considered inserting Dana’s swim as the “after” footage for Heidi’s lesson, instant success!

 But then, stunt doubles only work in Hollywood, not for the Olympics. Heidi will need a little more practice before she medals in the dog paddle at the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

Mike Szymanski August 19, 2012 at 07:10 PM
Our dogs just hate hate HATE the water... beach or pool, bath or hose.... yet, we did have a standard poodle that just jumped right into the pool, and our lovely German Shepherd Mickey loved the water too!
Irene August 19, 2012 at 07:17 PM
Heidi's a 10! Very brave.
feiji1991 August 22, 2012 at 09:04 AM
http://www.coachoutletstoreonline-hot.net http://www.storescoachoutletonline.com http://www.coach-factory--online.com http://www.coachoutletonline--store.net http://www.coachfactory-outlet--online.com http://www.coachfactory--outlets.net http://www.coachoutletstore-online.com http://www.coachstoreonline-2012.net http://www.ccoachfactory.net http://www.coachoutletonline-best.com
Abelee September 13, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Nice to share my love is wonderful to tell you that a healthy green gives you the best Organic vitamins, herbal remedies and organic supplements.They use all natural ingredients to create organic products. Organic SEO http://www.ictmentors.com/
ENGD September 19, 2012 at 03:19 PM
Wow!! What a great writing, really I appreciate such kind of topics. It will be very helpful for us. Waiting for more articles, blogs like this. I’m going bookmark your blog for future reference. Thanks a lot for sharing this. pakistani restaurant in Melbourne http://www.bonfirecafe.com.au/
david lee September 19, 2012 at 03:22 PM
Thanks for your post, I like this post very much. google organic seo http://www.ictmentors.com/
alex September 19, 2012 at 03:23 PM
You’ve written nice post, I am gonna bookmark this page, thanks for info. I actually appreciate your own position and I will be sure to come back here. http://www.drugdiscussions.com
alex September 19, 2012 at 03:25 PM
You’ve written nice post, I am gonna bookmark this page, thanks for info. I actually appreciate your own position and I will be sure to come back here. http://www.drugdiscussions.com
alex September 19, 2012 at 03:36 PM
You provided a valuable service to the community. Thank you for doing such a great job all these years. http://www.drugdiscussions.com drug discussion
kteen September 19, 2012 at 04:28 PM
With the many blogs which I have encountered, I never expected to see a very beautiful post online..After reading this one, I felt so lucky to see its content..-) Medicine Forum http://www.drugdiscussions.com/
Chika September 19, 2012 at 06:11 PM
Wonderful post. I am searching awesome news and idea. What I have found from your site, it is actually highly content. You have spent long time for this post. It's a very useful and interesting site. Thanks! Bonfire http://www.bonfirecafe.com.au/
david lee September 19, 2012 at 06:53 PM
Wonderful site and I wanted to post a note to let you know, ""Good job""! I’m glad I found this blog. Brilliant and wonderful job ! Your blog site has presented me most of the strategies which I like. Thanks for sharing this. organic seo company http://www.ictmentors.com/
alex September 19, 2012 at 07:07 PM
I just got to this amazing site not long ago. I was actually captured with the piece of resources you have got here. Big thumbs up for making such wonderful blog page! http://www.drugdiscussions.com/ drug forum
david lee September 19, 2012 at 09:28 PM
I was delighted to find this web site.I wanted to thank you for your time reading this wonderful! I really enjoyed every bit of it and I've marked to ensure that the blog post something new. best organic seo http://www.ictmentors.com/
ENGD September 19, 2012 at 09:44 PM
I am speechless after seeing these pictures! I love them all! I teach kindergarten and I'm going to make a theme, and photographs have given me so many ideas! You are so talented! Thanks! buy medicine http://www.mycarepharmacy.com/
alex September 19, 2012 at 10:27 PM
I think the natural and biological sources of vitamins and minerals are best compared with other packaging and plastic products. Always try to push things you need in your home. It is not only going to be cheaper, but it will be much more beneficial to your health and your family. http://www.ictmentors.com/ best organic seo company
alex September 19, 2012 at 10:33 PM
Hi! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a team of volunteers and new initiatives in the same niche. Blog gave us useful information to work. You have done an amazing job! http://www.ictmentors.com/ best organic seo company
david lee September 22, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Very good customer service, prompt delivery (lol...prompt for coming from so far away!), and good products. I recommend this company to my friends all the time. is a godsend to those of us without medical insurance. locksmith in bethesda md http://www.dc-locksmith.com/
dany October 30, 2012 at 03:08 PM
With the many blogs which I have encountered, I never expected to see a very beautiful post online..After reading this one, I felt so lucky to see its content..-) http://www.aaalocksmithnyc.com/
Clifford Alvin November 01, 2012 at 06:54 PM
I am searching awesome news and idea. What I have found from your site, it is actually highly content. You have spent long time for this post. It's a very useful and interesting site. http://www.writingpearl.co.uk/speech-writing-help/ http://www.writingpearl.co.uk/cv-writing/ http://www.writingpearl.co.uk/assignment-writing-service/ http://www.writingpearl.co.uk/do-my-assignment-for-me/
Plescruslow December 19, 2012 at 05:32 AM
Unquestionably believe that which you said. Your favorite justification seemed to be on the web the easiest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get irked while people consider worries that they just don't know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people can take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks http://octavinsu.blogspot.com/2012/10/toyota-grand-new-fortuner-suv-terbaik.html
stanciu marius February 07, 2013 at 11:09 PM
http://www.jocuricu-mario.ro
sami March 03, 2013 at 10:47 AM
<a href="http://scoopit.biz/">Social Bookmark</a>I relish, lead to I found exactly what I was looking for. You have ended my four day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye
ITechnologyUpdates March 13, 2013 at 01:12 PM
Thanx for you posting . This is my first visit to your site. I llike this post very much. <a href="http://itechnologyupdates.com/" rel="dofollow">Technology Updates</a>
SEO Hemant March 21, 2013 at 07:48 AM
http://www.seo-company-mumbai.in seo company in mumbai http://www.seoservicesmumbai.co.in seo services mumbai http://www.cctvcameramumbai.co.in cctv camera http://www.teacoffeevending.co.in/tea-coffee-vending-machines.html tea coffee vending machine http://www.lotusfireindia.com/fire_extinguisher.html buy fire extinguisher http://www.acsalesmumbai.com air conditioner http://www.mistico.co.in tea coffee vending machine http://www.pestcontrolwale.com pest control mumbai http://www.mshlok.co.in outdoor advertising agencies in Mumbai http://www.biometricmumbai.com biometric attendance http://www.geniusrepairsmumbai.co.in/laptop-repairing.html laptop repair Mumbai
Kama April 05, 2013 at 07:19 AM
Thanks for sharing so significative article with us. I agree with your idea competely.I am looking forward to another great article from you. http://www.zypokerchips.com
Roshana May 10, 2013 at 04:36 PM
Thanks. I agree with your idea competely. http://www.828bet.net
wiky May 27, 2013 at 07:54 AM
Thanks for sharing so interesting article with us. I completely agree with your idea. I am looking forward to another great article from you. Pakistani Newspaper In Urdu http://www.thekooza.com/
Aly Gilani June 21, 2013 at 02:15 AM
This is a really good read for me, Must admit that you are one of the best bloggers I ever saw.Thanks for posting this informative article. For <a href="http://www.tnsdigital.net/">Digital Media Marketing Services</a> visit tnsdigital.net
Aly Gilani July 22, 2013 at 04:15 AM
This item was an thoughts for me to discuss with everyone I know. I must compliment the writer and the place and arriving up with a amazing being like this. http://www.advertiseinpakistan.com/

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »