Dario goes to the dock.

It’s pouring rain outside. There is a thunderstorm imminent on the horizon and, just behind it, a tornado if the radio and internet are to be believed. Jenn stands soaking wet beside a dog-trainer friend of hers, also soaking wet, discussing how they are going to get ‘Big Dumb’ to jump off of a dock and retrieve a floaty toy.

‘Big Dumb’ is the nickname we have given Dario, the German Shepherd that has somehow insinuated himself into our lives. Because, with twenty-five sled dogs and two pet dogs, what we needed most was another dog – and one who came with his own baggage at that. Dario is a young dog and one who has been allowed to have some bad habits prior to coming to us. He was slated to be put down because he bit a kid – and I am not certain that it was a bite, now that I know how he works. I expect he was playing and used his mouth to grab the kid as it ran by. Still wrong, yes, but of purely different intent. Even still, Hunter and her friends are not allowed near him unsupervised. He plays rough, much to the torment of our little Ginger-dog and he’s all about fun which drives Gilligan, the Anti-Fun Patrol, absolutely ’round the bend. In short, he’s a big goof; well intentioned but sort of thick.

He has bonded quite quickly to Jenn, me somewhat and to Hunter entirely. To try and use up some of his youthful energy, Jenn takes him on walks but as he becomes more and more fit, the walks have to necessarily become longer and longer and there is a time factor to consider, so something more strenuous was needed. Lately, Jenn has been swimming him. She will take Dario to a lake and throw his fabric-and-rubber frisbee out into the water and he will bound and splash after it, swimming if he has to.

Jenn has a friend who is a dog trainer and who does everything from agility to dock diving to dogsledding with her mis-matched but entirely well-behaved and obedient gang. Tammy, the trainer, offered Jenn a dock diving session the other day and Jenn has been giddy ever since. I am not sure what the lure is to pitching a floaty thing off a dock and watching your dog fling itself after it, apart from watching how happy the dogs are to do this of course, but really… an entire sport for this? With rules and everything? I bet they even have T-shirts.

Since I am new to Shepherds and dock diving, I stand off to the side and watch. This is what I see:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYAGe18CuR8

All things considered, Dario did well. I guess. I don’t know… it’s dock diving. What do I know about dock diving?