A Busy Day In Which All Appears Normal

By Kendall De Menech. Today’s story is a bit of a blog. It actually has a surprising ending that I did not see coming until bedtime.
I got up early, let the dogs out and fed the cat. A cup of coffee went down very well.

By the time I had checked the morning news the clock was ticking down so onto the pool deck I went.

Cover photo: Bear and Summer

My two dogs Bear and Summer love to join me when I go out to vacuum the pool before the morning swims.

I roll the long blue mat off the pool and see dust and a hair-ball or two in the deep end. The tradition is that I then go over and pull the 20 foot blue vacuum hose off the wall support rack.

Summer, goofy girl that she is, has learned over the course of the past 3 years she has lived with me that she must pick up and carry a toy in her mouth if she wants to play the game of “stalk the hose”.
Without a toy in her mouth she barks and bites at the hose like she is hunting an anaconda. The hose is expensive so the toy in her mouth not only saves my eardrums but it also prevents tooth holes in the hose. As I unwrap the hose, drag it over to the vacuum head to attach it, Summer snarls and growls and tries to trap the escaping hose as it squirms across the deck.

Claire met Herbie

Bear is waiting. Even though he is a Standard Poodle, he thinks he is a Border Collie. He stares at the vacuum head as I attach the pole and hose. He freezes, daring the tool to move.
Lifting the ten foot pole up I lever the attached vacuum head and hose into the water. Summer is behind me chasing, grabbing tangling and Bear is in front like a defense man, trying to prevent the head from going into the pool.

Finally, I untangle from two dogs and get the pool cleaned up. They settle and watch me do my chores.

After the pool is cleaned up and the the bathroom sanitized, it is onto Herbie the Guinea Pig who gets a clean cage and fresh food and water.

Into the house I dash to change into my suit and don my wetsuit.
Two dogs came for a swim this morning. Sunny is a lovable Golden Retriever who is here for weight loss.
He is a big goofy guy who smiles and wiggles and is a joy. He has already lost almost 5 pounds in just a couple of weeks. He is almost a goal weight.

The dog to follow him , this morning, is in a tougher situation. Buddy is a chocolate lab and he must lose almost 40 pounds. He has only swam with me 4 times but already his skin is beginning to ripple and I can see the weight dropping. He reminds me so much of my Noah. Buddy’s owners told me he has never retrieved very well. Odd, for a lab.

Kendall and Kobi

Now, Buddy retrieves two toys at once and cannot be slowed down in the pool. He will be a new dog when he gets down below 100 pounds.
Last night I made a really tasty stew so when I got out of the water, I closed up the pool, changed and heated up a bowl for lunch.

I scrambled to do dishes, check my email, catch up on phone calls, feed the cat and revisit my to-do list.

Bear and Summer were slated to go on their by-weekly, 2 hour dog walk with their good friend Shelley(they were luck enough to go for a walk on the Railway trail by Hayward Lake in Mission today) so with the pups happily on their way I headed out of the house.

I got my hair cut, did some searching for some home reno material I needed, paid bills, visited the bank, gassed up the car (ouch!), purchased some cute things for a gift basket I was building and got home in time to welcome my dogs back and thank Shelley. And welcome the electrician , too, who was here to install a new light fixture for me in the kitchen.

Chieftain and his toys

I fed the dogs, Herbie and the cat and a blink of an eye later I am again changing into a bathing suit and pulling the blue mat off the pool. Kobi is here! He is Bear and Summer’s favorite black lab friend.
Kobi came to me four years ago to swim through some cruciate surgeries. Now, although his knees are ok, his hips have flared up with dysplasia so he is back in the pool to get some non-weight bearing exercise and hopefully avoid hip surgery. He is a love and his mom and I have become good friends.

After Kobi leaves, in comes Chieftain, the Chocolate Lab/ Chesapeake cross. He is here to burn energy. Chief holds the record here for the most toys any dog has held in his mouth at once …..12!
He is a blast. He jumps and dives and churns up the pool for 30 minutes.
At the end of the swim he does his Victory Dance around the pool, like Rocky running up the huge flight of stairs in Philadelphia. We all hum the Rocky theme as Chief races around the edge of the deck before going to get dried off. It is really funny.


My next dog is lovely Claire, a border collie who had a slipped disc in her back and went for surgery. She struggles to re-gain the use of her back legs. There is slow and steady improvement but not as fast as any of us had hoped for. She had a break-through tonight and actually swam without a lifejacket and did very well. She hurt her back in November and none of us are giving up.

I closed the pool tonight by re-applying the blue mat, putting away toys and lifejackets, locking doors and turning off the fan. I did my pool maintenance, added chemicals, set up my rain barrels and checked on Herbie then shut off the lights and went in the house to change out of my suit.

I loved up my dogs and cat and checked emails and the business and home phones. Hunger called so I made a grilled cheese sandwich for dinner and thoroughly enjoyed the light cast from my new kitchen ceiling pot light on a dimmer switch!

Clients are done for the day, the dogs are happily tired and the cat has settled on my lap so all is well in K9H2O Land. After a little TV watching and setting plans for what is going on tomorrow, I found myself feeling a little peckish once again. A bowl of honey clustered granola cereal and chopped banana called to me so that was my last epicurean delight of my day.


Time for bed and on to tomorrow. It has been a good day and all the dogs who filled my poolroom, including my own, have had fun, shown improvement and given me a lovely, warm feeling of satisfaction. It has been a near perfect day…..except for one startling awareness!

I ate my meals in backwards order!


K9 H2O:

Kendall and Kobi smile for the camera

Kendall De Menech owns and operates K9 H2O which hosts an indoor canine aquatic facility with diverse and multifunctional programming.

Secluded in a casual working environment, the facility offers an 80,000 liter, warm water indoor swimming pool, retrofitted and sanitized to accommodate dogs.

All swims are by appointment only. Please call or fax to: 604-864-2284.

Email: k9h2o@shaw.caWeb: www.k9h2o.net

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