Ever since my doggies discovered the pool and the joy of swimming and Helen has been the top dog there. Her methods are totally underhanded and consist of trying to drown the other two. Being the smallest in size, and harboring some jealousies as the other two play together all the time, this behavior is her only outlet and she takes great advantage of it, especially with Troy. Several times she tried to drown him and it was only through my intervention that he did not. So ever since this has happened, Troy goes swimming only if I am there, so he is sure to be rescued if Helen goes after him.
Every day after lunch I shoo them all out of the kitchen door into the garden where they can let off steam, use up their energy and swim for a couple of hours. Troy would usually splash around in the pond, which is shallow and safe.
They take care of their business and by the time I let them in again they are tired and sleep right through the evening till supper time, after which I let the out again but in the front garden to do their business before turning in for the night.
Yesterday we followed the same routine and I was on the terrace upstairs when I heard a big splash. Looking down at the pool I saw Troy swimming from the deep end, after jumping in, coming towards the shallow end and the steps. And Helen! The moment he came close, in she jumps and heads straight for him. He maneuvered and swam very fast, reaching the safety of the steps before she reached him and tried to drown him as usual. But he was on solid ground and managed to get away. Now that he has had a taste of actually swimming for a long distance without interference, I was interested to see how things would develop.
Today I gave them lunch and shooed them out into the garden and hurried up to the terrace to watch the show. Both Helen and Petra jumped in and swam about a bit then came out shaking the water off. Troy just wet his feet and stood there. I was disappointed because I could see how much he had enjoyed his swim yesterday.
A few minutes later he started edging towards the side of the pool and going forward in the water. I held my breath, as Helen was right there next to him. Suddenly he jumped in and Helen went right after him. But instead of his swimming away trying to get out of her way, he suddenly turned around and started giving her the same treatment she had been giving him for the past few weeks. She was so surprised, she immediately turned around and swam very quickly towards the steps. Troy then leisurely, and triumphantly swam in and walked out with a great deal of dignity completely ignoring Helen, who seemed to have learned her lesson well.
These dogs are very interesting, their behavior, the dynamics ruling their relationships to one another, to the cats and to me, and now their development and their growing up and learning: all this is a joy to me.