mad dogs and Frenchmen . . .

Temperatures are boiling hot in our corner of France again this week.  It’s approx 36°C here at the moment (in the shade) during the day, and not going much below 25°C at night.  We’re sweating.  Staying indoors during the hottest part of the day, and then enjoying a dip in the spa late afternoons to cool off.  But, also having to brave the heat because Gibbs needs his exercise.

Last week I showed you the floatable toy I made for Gibbs, and I’m pleased to say, it’s holding up very well.  We’ve been taking him to the park every day and the first thing he does is dive into the lake.


You can just make out his toy, in the centre of the ring of water circles . . . he’s become a very competent swimmer in a very short space of time.




And this game could go on and on and on, if Gibbs had his say.



However, we also go to the park for a few “educational” activites.  Including obstacles.  Of which this is one.


It took him a few days to become brave enough to do this, but now he walks up the ramp, across and down the other side on his own. 


There’s a lower platform where he hops up, sits and then jumps off.


And then there are tunnels to run through, hurdles to jump over, tyres to leap through, and much much more.  For the moment, and in the space of only 10 days, Gibbs has learned to do 6 of the (approximately) 12 obstacles on the course.  But what he really enjoys is swimming in the lake and charging around playing with the other dogs we meet.


25 thoughts on “mad dogs and Frenchmen . . .

  1. I hear you about the heat. It’s awful. The dog looks like he’s getting lots of exercise and learning new things about the world and his own abilities. I’ve always wondered how dogs can just know how to swim. Humans have to be taught. It’s a mystery.

    • I know! I was worried he was going to drown the first couple of times we took him to the lake, and only threw the toy where I knew he could stand up. But after only a few days, he was so obviously asking to go farther out so now we throw right out to the middle of the lake and watch him doggy paddle with such ease. Mind you . . . if I tell you a Flat coated retriever originated as a cross between an Irish Setter and a Newfoundland, you won’t be surprised.

      • You won’t want to do the experiment for yourself, but your cat knows how to swim. They also automatically doggy paddle. At any age for the first time. It’s hard wired into their DNA. Very strange. You don’t want to throw your cat into the water, but if you did, your cat would just start swimming. I know from a funny experience with a cat. It’s bizarre.

      • unfortunately I knew this ^^ One of our cats fell in the Stream (jumping after a squirrel) and had to swim . . . another managed to fall into a large barrel full of rain water. I’m so glad the survival instinct kicked in!

      • Closely related. It was a Norwegian Forest cat. They love to climb, which she did a lot. The love for water was surprising to me, but maybe they’re that similar of a breed to the Maine Coon.

      • Wow! We don’t see many pedigree cats in our neck of the woods, and certainly not a Norwegian Forest cat.

      • It was when I lived in the USA. She came to me totally by accident and it took a lot of effort and questioning experts to figure out why she could climb sheet rock and other things Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest can do. They make excellent pets and best buddies but it’s a lot of work.

  2. What a cleve pup! We never got around to doing any kind of obstacle training with our little one, and I kind of wish I had! You might be having a glorious summer, but we have just got back from our summer holiday in Scotland where it didn’t get above 17 degrees all week, and rained every day!

  3. It was finally cooler her this week, much relief to be able to stand having the windows open and sleep. Hope you get more temperate weather soon! Dog agility is so much fun, and the dogs love it! Yeah for Gibbs, he’s learned so much already!

  4. What a smart and lucky pup Gibbs is!! I could look at pictures and videos of dogs having fun all day!! Mine like to nap all day long so that they have plenty of energy to rough house with Daddy when he gets home from work. 😀

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