For those of you who haven’t met her yet on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram…. let me introduce you to #GoogleDog.
GoogleDog loves belly rubs, gentle nose and ear stroking, and going for walks. She doesn’t really like doggie treats, but loves real chicken. She drinks lots of water and rarely barks. She doesn’t like fireworks, or loud bangs.
Google is very good with most other dogs, but will occasionally take offence and growl and bark. She wears a muzzle in public because she’s a German Shepherd Dog and that’s the law, but she’s ok with that. She has very good recall and walks very nicely on her lead. She will chase after balls, and can be very dominant when there’s a ball in play – but she won’t fetch a ball, because wearing a muzzle has confused her about what to do with it when she catches it.
She is only slowly beginning to play. She was never played with as a puppy and it’s something that she doesn’t really understand. But that’s slowly and gently changing.
Google is a DSPCSA rescue dog, who was seized from a bad home last November. She came to me as a 2017 Christmas foster, but I couldn’t give her back! Yes, I’m a failed foster mum. We formally adopted her in the first week of January and have never regretted the decision for a moment.
When Google first came to stay, she was a very timid and very underweight doggie, with her pelvis and ribs sticking out through her rough and dull coat. By the summer her muscles and coat had grown so much that she needed an extra four inches on her neck collar!
Google helps look after #Dad93. She carries his personal alarm on her collar, and she tells him when the phone or doorbell are ringing.
She’s an absolute darling dog who had a very bad start in life, but shows very little sign of it now, and is incredibly trusting and kind. My Facebook posts have been absolutely loaded with her funny and heart-warming escapades and the growing friendship between her and dad. So I’ve decided to collect them here on my blog.
So welcome to the future adventures of #GoogleDog and #Dad93.
Day two at Malahide. A solo swim with ‘Chanimal’ Fergal Somerville, my long-distance swimmer angel who’s taken me under his considerable wing, to give me tips on how to make a 750m open water swim in Roscommon this Sunday – in 30 minutes.
You’ll know from yesterday’s training blog that the pressure is on with a vengeance. I agreed to do the ‘swim’ section of a relay triathlon in Lough Key Forest Park, but didn’t realise until last week that there was a disqualification time; which means I’m now at risk of getting my whole team chucked out, if I don’t get my speed up! *gulp*
Tonight we arrived at Middle Rock beach in Malahide as the tide was ‘filling’ or ‘coming in’. There were no other swimmers and despite the sunny evening, I shivered at the thought of getting into the cold water. I’ve dipped into the sea a couple of times now, but that first couple of minutes when I’m getting used to the cold, still doesn’t seem to be getting any easier!
As soon as I stopped gasping for breath, I reached out and pulled off in the direction of High Rock, the plan being to swim for 30 minutes again tonight, but try and cover a bit more ground. I was anxious to try out some tips that my friends on FB had been suggesting over the past 24 hours. I shortened my breathing periods, breathing on every fourth stroke instead of every 6th. I pushed my legs deeper into the water and tried to avoid losing energy by letting them splash, and I continued with Fergal’s advice and made long, steady strokes, concentrating on making my arms enter and leave the water cleanly.
I got into a really fast rhythm and swam and swam, until Fergal swam up for a check and chat again and told me I’d been swimming 10 minutes. I felt amazing, I felt I was flying tonight. I looked up and looked around in anticipation. I reckoned I had gone way past High Rock and was on my way to the next point, the Tower. I looked hard, searching out recognisable landmarks, trying to make my eyes cut through the setting sun to make sense of the dark silhouette of the shore. I pulled my goggles off in amazement. I was nowhere close! I had got twice this distance in the same time last night. I wasn’t gutted, but I was a bit browned off. Was I tired, were the different strokes slowing me down? How could I have felt so fast and swam so short a distance. After a quick chat with Fergal I decided I wanted to keep going – so we ended up swimming out for 20 minutes. I actually made it past High Rock and halfway to the tower before deciding to turn back – prepared for another 20 minute swim back. That would give me a swim of 40 mins instead of 30, so even if I’d missed out on speed, it would help my fitness and endurance, and that can’t hurt on Sunday.
We turned, and the sun sparkled on the drops running down my arm as I stretched out and swam back into the dying gold of the day. I kept my head out of the water for a couple of minutes as I swam. I didn’t feel tired. I wasn’t scared about the 20 minute return trip, and I took a few moments to simply enjoy the swim and the sea and the low flying birds that seemed to skate along the surface of the surrounding sea. Head down I pushed on again and 10 minutes later, I got a tap on the shoulder from a laughing Fergal. We were back at Middle Rock. 20-minutes to swim out and just 10 to get back. He explained we’d had a tougher current than we thought running against us on the trip out, and it helped us on the return. I ended up doing a slightly longer swim than last night, in about the same time. And that folks, means I probably did the 750m in 30 mins!!! Okay, difficult to judge what role the tides played, and I’ll have to wear a wetsuit under the rules on Sunday, which might either help or hinder me…but mentally – I feel more confident. I think I can do it. I’m not convinced I will – but I’m confident that I can.
Now all I can do is continue to train gently up to about Friday and have a rest day on Saturday and then give it sox on Sunday. Fingers and fins crossed! lol… and if you have any more tips for me, feel free to add a comment down below.