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Tag: pool

Now you see him; now you don’t

The mansion whose basement I’m living in has a big back yard, and in that big back yard is a big swimming pool, covered with a big black plastic tarp.

Ace likes to venture deep into the ivy behind the pool to do his business, and he’s always careful to avoid the pool on his way back.

Yesterday — and I blame the Valium — he didn’t.

As I watched — I’m monitoring him closely because he has been diagnosed with a herniated disc – he finished up and started walking straight for the pool. As I yelled “NOOOOOO!,” or words to that effect, he stepped right onto the black plastic tarp, which, unable to hold his 127 pounds, split, causing him to fall into the pool with a huge splash and disappear.

As far as scary moments in our continuing travels, it was right up there, second only to when, while I was holding his leash, he jumped over the railing at Niagara Falls, landing on a patch of grass that led to a sheer unprotected drop off into misty oblivion.

Fortunately, he jumped right back over then. And fortunately yesterday, his head almost immediately popped back up through the same hole he went through, and it was close enough to the side that he could drape his front paws over the edge of the pool and cling to it with a look of panic in his eyes.

On doggie swim days at Riverside Park back in Baltimore, Ace only went into the big boy pool once, preferring to wade in the baby one. When he did try the big one he was unable to get out. It took me and two friends to hoist him up and over the pool’s edge.

Yesterday, thanks either to adrenalin or the harness he’s been wearing instead of a collar since his diagnosis, I was able to pull him up enough for him to be able to get his back paws on the edge of the pool. I pulled, he pushed, and within a few seconds, he was out.

At that point, either invigorated by the cold and slightly green water, or just happy to be alive, he took off, darting around the yard for five minutes over my protestations. He’s supposed to be limiting his physical activity.

Once he calmed down, I noticed how bad he smelled and, with a public appearance scheduled for tonight, a bath was in order. In the middle of that, fully soaped up, he took off again, running in circles around the yard.

His herniated disc seemed far from his mind. I feared the incident would lead to a relapse, but all day, as in the past two days, it appeared to be bothering him less and less, and the yelps have ceased.

Between the tranquilizers and the the NSAIDs — and despite an unplanned morning swim in a yet to be opened pool — I think he’s making progress.

I haven’t yet told the lady of the manor about the damage he did. Earlier, she offered me the job of pool boy, if I end up staying into the summer, which would certainly look good — unlike the actual pasty and balding, pot-bellied, 57-year-old pool boy would himself — on the resume.

Now I may have no choice, needing to work off my debt for the torn tarp. How’s this for a deal? If you pay me extra, I’ll keep my shirt on.

Swimming with the dogs

Baltimore dogs and their humans took to the water today at Riverside Park’s doggie swim — held after the pool’s last day of the season.



 For more photos, see my Facebook album.

Roadside Encounters: Baby

Name: Baby

Breed: German shepherd

Age: 6

Encountered: Poolside, kind of, at the Motel 6 in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Backstory: Motel 6′s allow dogs — just not in the pool. So Baby’s owners, spending some time at the motel while between houses, hooked her leash to the gate so she could watch — longingly, it seemed — as her family cooled off in the water.

Baby probably would have been happier inside the fence, but she seemed content to be at least close to her family. She found a shady spot in the mulch, made herself comfortable and, in true German shepherd style, looked on.

(Roadside Encounters is a regular feature of Dog’s Country, the continuing story of one man and one dog spending six months criss-crossing America)

Park etiquette II: Children and dogs can mix

All too often at my park, and maybe your’s, conflicts develop between those who go there to let their dogs get some needed off-leash romping and those who go there to experience something other than big, slobbery, barking, dirty-pawed creatures careening around like a pinballs.

The law, as most of us know, is on the side of the latter. Dogs are required to be on leashes at all times in all of the city parks in Baltimore, and violation of that law can result in a $100 fine.

Nevertheless at my park, Riverside, as at Patterson, Federal Hill, Carroll, Latrobe, Druid Hill, Wyman and others, dog owners regularly take that risk to allow their dogs some exercise. Dogs gotta run and, in the city, the parks are the only game in town.

Having only one official dog park — though more appear to be on the way — means all the rest of the parks must be shared by dogs and humans, which, with a little common sense and respect, is not all that hard to accomplish. In other words, we can all just get along. Read more »

Doggie Paddle Pool Party

Here’s another opportunity for your dog to make a splash — at the Doggie Paddle Pool Party, from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the New Town Pool in Owings Mills.

Admission is $10 and all proceeds go to the Humane Society of Baltimore County. Dogs and people are welcome to use the pool, and pizza, doughnuts, and other refreshments will be served.

For directions to the pool, and our complete list of BYODOG activities, visit our doggie doings page.

Everybody into the pool

It was wet, wild and wonderful, and we weren’t even in West Virginia.

Right here in Baltimore yesterday, Riverside Park celebrated the last day of summer by opening its kiddie pool up to the dogs that frequent the park.

It was 45 minutes of soggy chaos — with more than 30 dogs running, splashing, playing and barking as their smiling owners looked on. It was also a very elegant gesture by the swimming pool staff at a park where tensions often flare between people who go the park to let their dogs run and people who go there to swim.

At 5:30 Sunday — the last day the of the season for the city pool — Nikkie Cobbs opened the doors to the dogs and the line of people who had heard about the spontaneous dog swim. We filed in, unleashed our hounds and got out of the way.

All the dogs got along fine, and none of the non-dog people at the pool, who were warned of what was about to transpire, appeared bothered.

All in all, it went … well, swimmingly.

A dip with your dog

At the end of summer in Howard County, the recreation and parks folks do something I wish Baltimore’s would: They open up a pool to dogs.

This year, it’s the pool at the Roger Carter Recreation Center, 3676 Fels Lane, in Ellicott City, MD.  On Saturday, Sept. 6, $10 will get you, a friend and your dog into the pool, from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Registration is required, which you can do by going to the Howard County Recreation & Parks web site. At the HCR&P site, do a search for session 3003.101.

For other activities to partake in with your pooch, visit our newly added “Doggie doings” page.

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