Knowing the importance of exposing a young pup to as many different experiences as possible while young, Don and I took Mr. Darcy to the lake so he could learn to splash and swim before the water gets too cold.
At first he was very cautious about this enormous expanse of hydrogen hydroxide.
Don tossed a stick right close to the shore, and Darcy was reluctant to get his feet wet to retrieve it.
But that caution didn't last long. Pretty soon his natural retriever instincts kicked in, and he got bolder.
Don tossed the stick in a bit farther each time, and Darcy bravely went after it.
This was repeated until Mr. Darcy was far enough out to actually paddle a bit. He was getting fairly tuckered by this point, so we went out on the dock.
He definitely has an instinct for water, this pup, so we'll be bringing him to the lake as often as possible (weather permitting).
So far Mr. Darcy is shaping up to be wonderful dog -- obedient, eager to please, playful, loyal. He's definitely a people-dog and always wants to be with us. It's so endearing in the evening to have him lie down literally on my feet while I'm reading a book.
For those who have been asking, we'll be looking for a lab pup for Don probably in the spring. Two young puppies in the house at the same time would be a bit much; but once Darcy grows up a bit, having another puppy would be far more manageable. Until then, Darcy flies solo.