From Lost Souls: FOUND! Inspiring Stories About Dogs, Vol. I.
Charlie Takes a Dip
Charlie and I live in New York City and like to visit Central Park in the morning during off-leash hours. While Charlie never strays too far from me, he loves running around free in the grass. On this particular morning, we were walking along the bank of a pretty large pond in the middle of the park. Charlie ventured to the edge of the pond, but since he had never shown any interest in water before, I let him wander. Then, he started to cautiously step in to the dirty, muddy, and moldy pond.
At this point I was amused but still not too worried. That’s when Charlie started to actually swim in the pond! He headed straight to the middle of the dark and disgusting water, and I feared he might get tired, stop swimming, and then have no way to get back to land. I called to him, I whistled for him, and I looked around for someone to help me, but in the wee hours of morning, even in New York, people were few and far between.
Charlie, normally a very obedient dog, was completely ignoring my panicked cries. He looked so calm and happy that someone watching him would surely have thought he was just going for his morning swim. My nervousness was growing quickly, and I realized that my best option was to jump into the murky water after him and try to catch up. My heart was racing as I started thinking of the possibilities of this dire situation. I took off my jacket. I was planning on taking off my t-shirt, too, so that I’d have something clean and dry to wear when I got out, when I heard a jogger from the other side of the pond: “Stop! Wait, don’t jump in!”
I screamed, “But that’s my dog, and he’s not coming back to me!”
The jogger replied, “He’s coming toward me. Just wait, and I’ll catch him!”
I thought, okay, we can try this option before I jump in.
Charlie did continue swimming to the other end of the pond, looking as happy as a clam. Then, when Charlie was about five feet away from the shore, he turned around back towards the middle of the pond! I was beside myself, but I realized that Charlie was clearly teasing us and enjoying every bit of it. Eventually Charlie came back to my side of the shore and trampled out of the water. Everything but his head was a muddy, greenish-brown mess! I felt a rush of emotions: relief, happiness, and anger. And I couldn’t stop laughing as I tried to dry Charlie off with my jacket. –The Sheth Family