This could also be called “Day 6: Goober learns to swim” – this was an all-round awesome day. We started off walking dogs at Deja, and between Peter and I managed to get all the volunteer dogs from 0 through 4 out (we ran out of time before getting the last lodge out – too close to their lunch time).  Didn’t get to see Mr. Ogy today, as Thursday is his office day – lucky Ogy! I started off with a few dogs I hadn’t walked before: Shocky, Beauregard, and Newton.

Shocky sort of lives up to her name – full of energy, especially excitable with other dogs around. However, she definitely wants some love, and is just overjoyed with the attention you give her (well, just standing in her run and being with her). After our walk, she was in her run over on her side and pressing right into my legs with kisses galore. I’m sure for Shocky every walk is the best walk EVER.



Beauregard was up next, and was also an excited guy to get out and had a million things to smell on our short walk.



I didn’t walk Theresa (she’s not on volunteer walk duty at the moment), but I did pass by her run after walking Beauregard to see this trademark look:


Newton.. oh Mr Newton. You cannot help but love this guy – he has so much personality and energy for a little ol fellow. I mean, look at this face – it isn’t a good photo with my shadow all in the way, but the face sort of sums it all up:



Screech, who is absolutely the neatest, smartest, and most confident guy going. He knows the drill – will sit calmly as you harness him up, walk to the door without even looking at the other dogs, and then right down the road past every run without even turning his head. He’s on a WALK – nothing much seems to distract this guy. He just barrels ahead. Screech, also, is smart as a whip. He remembered that if he kept walking at this particular spot where he stopped yesterday (something I was warned about in advance), he would be rewarded. So he slowed down, giving me the eye like he was thinking of stopping but might not if there was incentive… I prompted him with a treat-on-the-go, and he never stopped and galloped ahead. It wasn’t so much he remembering (they all remember the treat-spots, which is why they sometimes aren’t a good idea), but it was the fact he remembered what I had wanted him to do yesterday for the treat (keep moving, not stop sit and whine). Improvement after only a day – such a great guy.



Sunshine Girl – my happy silly girl. I thought I’d share what it’s like to try and pause at the bench for a photo with Miss Sunshine:


Slow down for a photo? Are you crazy?


Oh OK… I’ll pause for a photo – I am very pretty!


How ‘bout my nose?


Or a big smile?


You’re sitting?  OK I’ll sit for a second.


Good, you’re getting up… You ready yet?


OK, good — lets go!

We then grabbed Goober for an outing just before lunch, as we planned to go a bit further this time to Navajo Lake. Most of the photos from the trip are sitting on my big camera (I’ll add them when I get back home), but I have a few and some video from the journey.


Car ride!



As we left the sanctuary, Goober was well behaved in the back seat, only venturing to the center console to stand next to Peter a few times. You can see (above) that he sat in the back seat with his head leaning against the chair in front of him.

When we stopped at a gas station to fill up, Goober was fascinated with Peter filling the tank and cleaning the windows (below). And when Peter left to go get some snacks from the store, Goober pined a bit. He loved Peter, didn’t want to let him out of sight.


Watching Peter clean the windows

Our first stop was in Duck Creek Pond, where we had lunch (including Goober, who was sent with his). We had a long lead with us, so Goober was tied up to a huge tree and pretty much just sat by our side or sniffed around where we were sitting, sniffed the air, gazed around at the lake and birds. Peter went to return the picnic stuff to the car so we could walk down a trail, and Goober pined a bit when he left, and wouldn’t budge from his spot staring at where Peter went until he returned (except to quickly return and lick my hand, before going to his waiting position). Loyal fellow!  [Note: Pictures are stuck on my big camera, will add them when I return home]

Then we were off to Navajo Lake, another 5-10 minutes up the road. It was cooler due to the elevation, and there was barely anyone at the lake (and no other dogs!) so we could put Goober on the long lead again without worry. He was instantly getting his feet went in the lake and trotting around the shore sniffing everything. Goober likes to chase sticks, so we’d throw one in the lake for him. He went in after it, but wouldn’t swim after the sticks. He’d go in as long as his feet could still touch the ground – and then would whine and whine looking at the stick. Hmmm.

So we started throwing the sticks just as far as he could get them.

Then we started throwing them a bit farther out, and he wanted the stick bad enough that he actually went after it… and you could see *fwomph* Goober started floating (you can tell in the following video when his butt suddenly goes upwards). I think he surprised himself as much as we were surprised he actually did it so quickly!

So Goober figured out he could float, and quickly had enough confidence to paddle a few strokes out to grab the stick. So we built on that, going a bit more and more until he went after the stick without hesitating.

And by the end of the afternoon, Goober was confidently swimming out the entire length of the long lead (30 feet!)  What a smart boy!


One wet dawg

[Note: Most pictures are stuck on my big camera, will add them when I return home]

After all that swimming, it was time to towel off and head back. Goober was tuckered out, and slept in the back seat with me the entire way back to Best Friends (about an hour!)  He put his paw on my leg, and tucked his head into my arm and side. It seemed like Goober had a good time, hopefully he enjoyed being a “regular dog” for a while as much as we enjoyed having him as “our dog” for an afternoon.


About Author

Jen deHaan is graphic designer, small business owner, and dog person living in Bay Area, California. Jen enjoys learning about dog training and behavior, and has taken several courses and seminars since 2010. She also contributes articles to leading websites, such as Victoria Stilwell's Positively . It all started with a great dog called Mikey (aka "dude"), loved and lost but remembered forever. Jen also runs a freelance business focusing on graphic, web, and UI design at FoundPixel, and a small business creating hand crafted dog products at Stylish Canine.

  • jijo272

    Goober – what a guy.