Saturday I took Seth to the Oregon State Fair to try Dock Diving! It was a very interesting and fun experience. X-treme Air Dogs is hosting the event at the fair and they have it set up so people can bring their dogs to give it a try. It's $15 and you can try multiple times between waves [their competitions] throughout the day. There is a trainer there to help you and help your dog. Seth thought the pool and the ramp were really weird. I didn't think about it being 'odd' to him, but I think it is a little more daunting for them transitioning from open water to a pool because they know they are "stuck" in the pool. The first time in Seth immediately wanted to try to exit the pool via one of the sides. He has a good recall so we got him back up the ramp. Speaking of the ramp, that was also weird for him. I think he was having a hard time gauging where the ramp ended. He jumped off of the dock once but I think it surprised him/I don't think he was prepared for the jump. After that he did not want to jump off of the dock. He would go off of the ramp no problem, but the dock was a no-go. I tried twice with him and the trainer even got into the pool but he just wasn't going to jump in. Unfortunately I had some other things I needed to do that day so I decided to walk some of the fair and head home. I think eventually he will figure it out, but we definitely need more time to work on it. There is supposed to be a pool opening up nearby in September specifically for dog swimming and dock dogs - so I am really hoping to be able to take him there so we can work on this!
Overall even though he only jumped in once, it was a great experience. It was also good "trial" experience because we had all kinds of people watching us as we fruitlessly tried to encourage Seth to get his ball from the pool.
Dock diving aside I also wanted to talk about how stable Seth is, and how much I really appreciate it.
It's been a long time since I have taken one of my dogs to a public event setting like the fair grounds. Generally speaking if I am going to a Saturday market or something I don't bring a dog simply because I don't trust other people with their dogs, and if I intend to buy things it's easier to not have a dog tagging along.
Seth had to hang out a lot while waiting our turn to try dock diving. We had several people and several kids ask to pet him. Seth was happy to get some attention and was very happy to interact with people and with children. I only had maybe two children who did not ask touch him, but it was quick and in passing. All of the other children and people we encountered were very polite and asked to pet him. Seth was super relaxed while we waited in line for our turn, he even was lying down on his side a few times while waiting, sniffing the ground and just hanging out. People walking all around us didn't seem to bother him at all. It brings me back to the day he got his CGC. We were in a room with probably 30 other dogs while we waited our turn and here he is lying on his back pawing at my friend Lynna's dog, like he didn't notice any of the commotion at all.
Saturday just really made me appreciate Seth's stable, easy going temperament. He was in his element with all of those people. He was happy to interact with folks who wanted to interact with him, he never once seemed worried or stressed out. It was just nice. It also made me really happy to give adults and several children a very positive experience with a dog. It made me feel good that the folks interacting with him felt good. Kids really aren't my cup of tea but I was glad to be a part of their 'good dog experiences'.