Grit Blogs > Adventures in Lab Land

Animal Outings

By Traci Smith, Senior Associate Editor

Tags: animals, Labs, Labrador Retrievers, geese, work, animal tales, animal behavior, pool, baby pool, pond, swimming, dogs, pasture, garden, community garden, swimming hole,

Happenings at home and at work with the animals.

Since we live on a major highway, our yard is fenced to keep the dogs safe. They love swimming in the ponds when it's hot, but that means someone has to take them, and we don't always have time. So, a couple of weeks ago, when the temperature hit 90 degrees, we went to the local hardware store and bought them a baby pool.

First time in the pool this spring. 

They couldn't wait for it to fill. They were in it before we even got the hose in and turned on.

Maggie splashing in pool. 

This is our 9-year-old Lab, Maggie. She looks old, with lots of gray hair, but she doesn't act any older than our 2-year-old, Boone. Her favorite thing to do is dig in the pool and splash water all over herself. Then she takes her nose and dips it in the water like she's retrieving something, even though she's not.

Boone splashing in the pool. 

Here's Boone digging at the bottom of the pool. I wonder where he learned to do that!

Maggie in the pond. 

They were enjoying the pool so much, even though it's not really big enough for two big ol' Labrador Retrievers (Maggie weighs 109, Boone 118). Since we didn't have much planned for the day, we decided to really make their day, so we took them down to the pond. When Maggie hits the pond, she loses herself in her own world. She sees nothing and nobody, and she hears nothing and nobody. She would swim for days if we'd let her. Once she gets in, she is in until we manage to trick her into getting out, which normally takes about 30 minutes. We've timed her swimming adventures, and her longest swim was just shy of an hour. Now, when I say she swam for almost an hour, I mean she swam. She didn't get out once. She absolutely loves swimming, and since she has arthritis now, the vet says swimming is the best exercise for her - and she is more than happy to exercise.

Boone swimming in the pond. 

Boone, on the other hand, loves to swim, but he also loves to run in the pasture. One of his favorite things to do is run around for a few minutes, then run full speed and splash into the pond. Once he's in the pond, he swims over to where Maggie is and asks her to play. However, she turns tail and swims away. He's finally (after two years) realizing that when Maggie is swimming, he is on his own.

In other animal news, we have three geese at work that have been making regular appearances for the past few weeks. Our back parking lot slopes, so when it rains, it creates a nice pool for them. They started out just bathing in the pool after a rain, and within a few days, they began making themselves at home. They seem friendly and will walk right up to you.

Goose on company truck. 

Here is one of them standing tall on the company truck in the back parking lot. It looks like he's checking out our shipping department through the dock door. Maybe he's planning a trip to tour the building in the near future.

Geese in garden at Ogden. 

A few days later, our visitors helped themselves to some goodies in the community garden in front of the building. Provided with food for the taking, as well as a nice watering hole for bathing, I think they just might be here to stay.