Wilbur has tried his whole life to be a water dog, but he just never succeeds. As soon as the water goes over his head he panics. I have tried to give him swimming lessons, but he just flounders every time I let him go until he can find me and climb up on me. Still he dreams of one day being a water dog and pushes himself further and further every day.
When we lived at the beach he would stand at the edge of the water until all the water would be sucked out and then he would take off into the ocean running out as far as he could until a wave would come. He would then turn around and try and out run the wave. He didn’t always succeed in out running the wave, and would be tumbled around until he landed in the sand.
Now that we have moved in land Wilbur has a river and a lake to play in. I thought with his golden retriever and lab buddy he would be in the water every day. He hasn’t been in the water once even though the three of them head to the river at least once a day.
I decided last week that I would take him with me fishing. There is a lake on our property and it was a beautiful evening. I figured since the water was chilly and he hadn’t been trying to swim it would be no problem fishing with him.
At first he just watched on the edge of the bank to see what was going to happen, but after they caught the first fish the threw it back he started pacing the the shore. I could tell that he wanted a fish. Earlier in the day we had observed the duck hunter’s dogs retrieving ducks for their owners and I could tell there was a part of him that thought this was what he was suppose to do. He was suppose to get a fish and bring them back to us.
It didn’t take long before Wilbur set off on his mission to be a water dog and to get a fish. He jumped into the water whole-heartily. Splashing desperately to where the fish had sank, but then he could no longer reach the bottom. He panicked for a second and turned around.
But then he tried again swimming out and desperately looking for the lost fish. I didn’t want him to fail, so I scrambled to the car where I found one of his raw hide bones. I threw it in the water near him and he grabbed it. He swam back ashore and ran around with his prize. I called him over and he handed over the bone. Everyone who was there looked at me as though I lost mind. I then explained “there is enough tragedy and pain in the this world. There should be more triumph and love even if it’s a little silly.”