Swimming With Mr Boots

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Swimming With Mr Boots

by Bob Mathers

August is the hottest month in this part of the world. Trying to stay cool can be a challenge when you grow up without access to a swimming pool or clean river. Being young and therefore enterprising and stupid, my brother Rick and I decided one HOT day that we were going swimming even if it meant we had to walk five miles to Keyser's, an old quarry that had evolved into a series of large ponds. We also figured that we would take our dog Mr. Boots.

Mr. Boots was a mutt, a mix between Lab and Terrier, and who knows what else. He was also a very good natured dog and loved to get out for a walk. We figured that Mr. Boots wouldn't mind the 5 mile hike in the sun and heat, and anyway, after we had the collar on him, what choice did he have? Well, we all started off on our venture, and after pulling on his leash and literally choking himself for five minutes or so, he calmed down and I guess he realized that he was in for a longer hike this time around.

After walking for an hour or so, we got to our destination and looked forward to a cooling dip. Keyser's was a treacherous body of water in which many people had drowned. You could be in three feet of water, take another step, and all of a sudden you were in water over your head. Needless to say, you had to be very careful swimming in this body of water. To offer us some sense of protection we noticed an old skid lying there, and figured we could use it as a flotation device that we could swim to if either one of us got into trouble.

We cast off our shoes, and pushed the skid out into the water in front of us. We waded out to the deeper water and called for Mr. Boots to come on out to us. He stood on the shore barking furiously, but no matter how many times we called for him, he wouldn't venture into the water. A Lab that doesn't like water? It didn't seem right that we were enjoying the water and he wasn't, so we figured we had to get the old boy out here some way. Rick said "let's put him on the skid and push him out here"!

Sure enough, we pushed the skid back to the shore, and I picked him up and put him on the skid and we slowly pushed the skid out into the water. When we got out to the deeper water, we stopped and let Mr. Boots sort of float there, and we swam off a ways. He continued to bark loudly, but still wouldn't get in the water. I said to Rick, "all dogs can swim right"? He said "yea, I think so". "Well, I added, we're going to find out". We swam back to the skid and he and I got on opposite sides and started rocking the skid. Before long we tipped it enough to cause Mr. Boots to go into the water. He immediately started doing the old dog paddle, and swam straight for the shore.

Once there, he shook himself off, and started barking again. We figured crazy old dog, and thought well, let's try it again. So, we went back in, put him on the skid, and pushed him out into the water again. Sure enough, we would tip the skid and Mr. Boots would go into the water, swim back to shore, and repeat the process again. We must have done this at least ten times. I guess he just couldn't tread water very well.

After being out there for a couple of hours, we grudingly decided it was time to go since we were both getting hungry and had brought nothing to eat. We leashed Mr. Boots up and started the walk home. It seemed like it took much longer to get home then get there, but we eventually made it.

The next morning my mother woke me up and said "something's wrong with Mr. Boots, he can barely walk". Sure enough, when I looked at him, he was struggling just to take a step. After thinking about it for a short while, and wondering what could be wrong, the thought popped into my mind, it's from swimming. His muscles had tightened up on him just like they would with anyone who had been exercising furiously. After a few days, he was walking normal again, but I must say it was humorous watching him walking about during that time. If they made dog crutches, he could have used them for sure.

Mr. Boots has long since left the scene, but I think of that hot day in August and swimming with my brother and Boots and can't help but smile when I think of the reluctant swimmer...Mr. Boots.

Bob Mathers has been involved with Network Marketing for several years. He also contributes articles from time to time on different topics. His current website is... Earn Income from Home With Your Own Internet Business

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