Updated: August 17, 2012 6:16AM
Dear Ollie, I am a sable-colored toy Chihuahua named Aztec that has the good fortune to live with a family in a beautiful lakeside home.
Every day, my woman human goes down to the dock and tries to read a book while enjoying the lake. She never finishes it.
I skulk around the deck looking for cover. It’s not my favorite activity because I’m especially nervous around water. Yesterday, my eye caught the action of Odie, our next-door neighbor’s golden retriever, as he leapt from the dock and swam effortlessly into the lake. Everyone jumped into the water with Odie. I hid under the beach blankets.
I don’t love Odie. Now, I’ll tell you why.
This particular day there were children on the dock squealing with delight as they threw red and blue plastic Frisbees into the lake for Odie to fetch. When Odie retrieved the treasured discs in this mouth, his head remained high above the water while his long legs cut and glided through the water. I was transfixed.
Then it happened. I fell off the dock and my head immediately disappeared from view. There were screams from the children, “Aztec’s head is under water, oh my God, he’s going to die.”
Well, I didn’t die. I headed straight toward land, my little bitty legs paddling as fast as they could. Needless to say, I didn’t look anything like Odie.
If sputtering in a fresh water lake weren’t embarrassing enough, I missed the dock and attached myself to the cross hatch fence underneath. There I was, half under water and stuck on the fence like an ugly spotted barnacle.
My woman human swooped down to try to pull me off the fence. As she tried to pry me loose, there were desperate cries of “Let’s call the fire department.” Well, the more they pulled, the harder I hung on. I looked ridiculous.
Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw Odie, head high, slicing through the water. I definitely did not want to give Odie the chance to star in a rescue scene, so I let loose. I was immediately scooped up by my owner and wrapped in a blue towel. “Poor Aztec,” she said.
Ollie, what happened to me?
Dear Aztec, Dogs swim, cats swim and even squirrels can swim.
You are a dog, so you are able to swim, too. However, a golden retriever can swim a lot better. Because he is a perfectly designed swimming machine standing 24 inches at his tallest. His long legs and floppy protective ears make him an excellent swimmer and retriever.
You are not designed to swim because you are slightly longer than you are tall with a large skull and short muzzle and large and erect ears. In short, (excuse the pun), you are not a swimming machine.
Aztec, all dogs are unique. You are an alert, sensitive dog and you make an excellent companion for an elderly or sedentary adult. Your woman human sounds perfect for you.
Learn to be happy with what and who you are and, in the future be careful not to fall in the water.
There are some cool Chihuahuas available for adoption at the Humane Society of Northwest Indiana. Call 938-3339 for information.