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Diary entry by Genis October 1, 2014.

SwemNow that summer is officially here, my diet and exercise program has apparently gone into overdrive. When I was a puppy of not more than six months old, I slipped on the tiled floors in our home and completely shattered my little kneecap. I had to undergo an operation and the dog bone doctor designed and inserted a tiny new kneecap in my leg. The operation was a huge success, although the leg pains me sometimes, especially in winter. This means that I tend to rely more on my front legs and shoulders to propel me forward when running and my hind leg muscles are not as well developed.

So last week, when I weighed in at 13,3kg only, my Humans decided to “help” me by stepping up my exercise program, but first, I had to be assessed by a doggie physiotherapist. So, off we went to the Darshan Animal Hydro in Drumblade, where I got to know Michelle. Beautiful lady, nice soft hands massaging my whole body and soft talk in my fluffy ears – I was smitten, and who can blame me? I really enjoyed that session until Michelle suggested that teaching me to swim would be beneficial to exercising the atrophied muscles in my hind legs and, of course, it would help me to lose weight.

Now. I don’t like water. I mean, water is wet and full of soap that gets into my eyes and also, getting out of the bath, I am always insulted by my Humans’ moans and groans about my weight. There was just no way that I was getting into an enormous pool with COLD water in order to swim. I am, after all, not a duck.

But do I ever have a say in anything? No, I don’t. I am such a small little dog and the Humans can easily manhandle me. First I was strapped into a life jacket and then Michelle got into the indoors heated pool with me. She made sure that my head remained above water by holding onto the handgrip on my life jacket, sort of carrying me like a handbag, you know – how insulting! The water was pleasantly warm and I immediately started paddling towards the poolside where my Humans were filming the whole debacle. I told them off good, but they just laughed and Michelle steered me around for a few more laps.

Afterwards I was towelled down, compliment for my good behaviour and taken outside into the yard to dry in the sun. The moment I saw our car, I made a beeline for it and got in as fast as I could. Swimming gave me a hearty appetite and I had a nice veggie lunch PLUS – what luxury! – I got both a bone and a biscuit for being a “good doggie”. Last night I slept like a baby and this morning I was up bright and early. My Humans are very pleased with me, assuring each other that This Dog is not stressed out at all by the experience and will greatly benefit from the experience.

So, next week I have to go again. I’m still not too sure about all this hoo-hah, but am looking forward to seeing Michelle again, and oh yes, I attached a video and photos of my experience.

Please visit, “like” and “follow” me on my Facebook page Genisondiet and Twitter profile @GenisOnDiet to share in my misery and triumphs. I will keep you posted.

UPDATE: Genis has been going to the Hydro once a week for almost two months now and last week he graduated from the indoor heated “baby” pool to the cold water pool outside. This pool is huge, because the Hydro provides these facilities for bigger dogs and horses.

We worried a bit that Genis would be scared going into the pool, but he took to it like the proverbial duck to water. You will see that, even while swimming, he never stops wagging his tail – a sure sign that he is relaxed and happy. Just watch his little feet kicking away under water.