We don’t make a big fuss at Christmas, but we always give a little something special to each pet. My mare Lily enjoys a juicy holiday apple and expresses her delight by slobbering all over the hand that feeds her. And normally we would give some tasty treat to Lila, but this year we thought that a Labrador might appreciate a wet place to cool herself during our antipodean summer.

A bright red wading pool was not our first choice. All the blue ones had sold out. But red seemed to make sense for Christmas. We hid the pool from Lila until Santa could deliver it at the appropriate time. We wanted to surprise her, but her tentative reaction to it surprised us. Lila loves swimming (please see like a duck to water), but appeared baffled by the wading pool being somewhat bigger than her water bowl but much smaller than our dam. [read more below]

[wpvideo 3s0vTwRA w=484]

With a bit of encouragement, she would gingerly step into the pool for a few moments, but then hop out and wildly circle before stopping abruptly at its edge. The only way we could persuade her to actually enter the water was to drop at the bottom a prized possession: a bone. It took a while for Lila to discover that she could keep her eyes open under water, but when she did, she deftly snatched the bone and took off!

[If you have received this post by email, please click “dog downunder” or “lila’s wading pool” in order to view accompanying video in a web page.]