This morning I took Ross and Mira for their morning exercise – I walk  & exercise the dogs in pairs much of the time, or one at a time.  Never more as I find it much more relaxing.  In threes they start to get too wound up and then I spend all my energy trying to keep them under control rather than enjoying the outing.

Ross doesn’t like swimming so we just wander around the community and along the beach.  The girls LOVE to swim and fetch in the water, so I usually just take them directly to the beach and stay put.  But Mira not only loves to fetch, she really, really loves to swim.  I swear this dog is part otter.  She doesn’t do the crazy splashing and barking and frantic paddling and snapping at bubbles that I’ve seen a lot of water obsessed dogs do.  Rather, she goes into the water and silently swims either in big circles (if I am standing still) or parallel to me while I walk on land, provided she can see me clearly.  At our old house we walked along the river but the bank was high and heavily forested, so Mira would stay with me on the path rather than swim out of sight.  On the beach, however, she can indulge in her passion to her heart’s content.

Anyway, this morning I brought Mira on my walk with Ross, who I usually walk alone in the morning.  We went along the road, through several neighbourhoods, then ended up at the far end of the beach.  There I let Mira off-lead and put Ross on a long-line (there are a lot of dogs on the beach and he will charge off after them given the chance; a long-line allows me to relax and enjoy and still let him run around and get exercise).  Ross and I walked along shore, and Mira swam parallel to us about 25 feet out into the water.  She swam the entire length of the beach, which is a considerable distance.  She never seems to get tired from swimming and appears to expend not much more energy than she does when walking!

Here, to give you an idea of how big this beach is and thus how far she swam, this is half the beach:

And this is the other half (we didn’t quite go the full distance, but at least two thirds)

It was quite warm this morning and the water very still, enticing me to swim for the first time since I moved here a month ago.  The waves on this beach are often huge (see pictures I posted a few entries ago) and I’m not big on swimming in turbulent water with a rip-tide.  I also keep the dogs out of the water on heavy surf days as well, as apparently there can be quite an undertow.  But today it was perfectly still (the photos above were actually taken last night), the sun was out, the sky was clear and there was not a soul on the beach.  Can you imagine?

So I took Ross and Mira home after they’d had some exercise, changed into my swimsuit, and headed back with the other two.  The water was very, um, ‘refreshing’ but once I went in and out a few times, my body adjusted and I really got into swimming about.  By then some people had arrived and were dipping their toes in the water, but I was the first in and spent a good half an hour splashing and swimming about.  Talk about invigorating!!!  I was on an endorphin high for the next two hours!  No wonder the dogs enjoy it so much.  And obviously I would benefit from more exercise.  I hope to have the self-discipline to swim every morning for the rest of the summer, provided the water is safe.

I of course didn’t bring my camera when I went swimming, but here are a few pics of the dogs enjoying the beach from the past few days: