Sunday, July 26, 2009

The World's Biggest Water Bowl

... or Mac has no drive.

I have always wanted to try Splash Dogs or Dock Diving with my dog. Basically, the you get your dog revved up about a toy, and the dog leaps into a (usually artificial) pool. The dog is scored by the length of the jump. This just seemed like a perfect thing for me and Mac to do together- Mac really only gets totally excited about his toy when he's near water. And when he gets excited about he toy, he gets really really excited. Here's an example:


He throws himself at his toys, backs into the water, and panics when he can't find the toy.

So today, I happened to have the day off. I went to the Solano County Fair last night and met my friend M who had just done some runs with her foster dog Tuile. She told me I could bring Mac back today- Bingo! Everyone warned me that Mac might not jump off the dock and that he could go off the ramp that the dogs use to get out of the pool instead. No problem. I was so excited last night I could barely sleep.

Yeah, it didn't go so well. Mac had a great time, but it wasn't Mac's sport. There were about 35 dogs there, the majority of them barking and carrying on about their toys and the pool. Mac was cool ole man, which of course made me proud. He ignored them and was very good, paying attention to me. He made some human friends, leaping into any available lap. But he did not care one bit about his toy. I couldn't get him to look at it.

When we finally got to his turn at the pool, I led him up the ramp. He started drinking out of the pool. Mac likes water a lot. He likes to swim in it, but I guess he likes to drink it even more. So I ran him up to the dock. He sniffed and sniffed because it smelled like dogs. Dogs kept barking and he kept sniffing. I waved his ball in front of him for a minute and then threw it in the pool. He crouhed on the edge of the pool clung to the end. I don't think he'll ever know if he wanted to drink some more or if he wanted to jump in. He thought about it, but by the time I thought he'd go in, they asked me to pull him off. We tried a second time, and Mac tried to drain the pool. He was soooooo thirsty and the pool tasted sooooooo good.

I know Mac is no high-drive-bulldog the fanciers rave about. He's Mac. It's what I like about him. But he really does get into his toy, and almost nothing can stop him when he's like that. Once he gets the toy he gets to the point where I can't even get it away from them (call that what you will). But with all of the stimulation going on, Mac semi-shuts down. He can pay attention to me, and ignore the other dogs (unless they get too close). But he can't also lose his inhibitions enough to go cccrrrrazzzzzyyyy about his toy. He's not that into his toy. He is into momma, he's into food, but he's not into toy. And he's not into momma or food in a drivey kind of way. He can get in that drive mode when we're alone and he can let go, but not in front of a bunch of screaming dogs, in a strange place. It's just not mac.

At least he got to drink some nasty overchlorinated water. Ew.