Vicktory dogs playing in the pool

Many of the former Michael Vick dogs are having a blast playing in the pool. Some, however, are suspect of these big toys.
By David Dickson

As the weather keeps heating up around the sanctuary, the Vicktory dogs at Best Friends have discovered the most unusual contraptions for staying cool. They’re these blue, plastic monster-oversized water dish things. Normally water is for drinking, the Vicktory dogs realize, but a few of the zanier pit bull terriers have been pushing the envelope a bit. They’ve tried putting a couple paws down inside the water dish. And guess what? In no time they were rewarded with a surprising splash of cool water to beat the heat. It was like magic. Almost as if these strange devices weren’t really water dishes but something else entirely...

Swimming pools and dogs

That’s right, the Vicktory dogs (former dogs of NFL quarterback, Michael Vick) are getting their first taste of swimming pools! At first glance, some of the dogs turned tail and backed away. Remember, anything new to the Vicktory dogs is most often held suspect until triple sniffed and examined for a good twenty minutes or so. Some of the dogs even take days before accepting a new toy or large object. Big plastic swimming pools have been no exception. They’ve taken some getting used to. Yet once the dogs figure the things out—such as Layla, pictured—they really seem to have a blast.

Shadow the Vicktory dog and toys

For some, however, the splash and dash concept may take a little longer in coming. Shadow, for example. Shadow is a certifiable toy fanatic. You might think that to Shadow a swimming pool would seem like one enormous toy. Nope. He’s smart enough to realize that if he can’t pick it up with his mouth, it’s probably not safe. When he first spotted the blue swimming pools he turned and ran for cover. Until he noticed something, that was. He saw that one of the gigantic water dishes held captive two balls and a Frisbee.

All at once, Shadow was a dog on a mission. Three of his beloved toys were trapped deep in enemy territory and he knew he was the guy to get them out. It took a little time for him to work up the courage, of course. First he approached (cautiously, so as not to alert the enemy), studied the layout, then slowly lowered his head over the edge toward a toy. Once he managed to grab the toy, he sprinted for cover in triumph. Repeat two times.

Here’s hoping that in time Shadow will realize, as many of the others have, that swimming pools can be a dog’s best friend. Until then, at least he gets to feel like a hero once in awhile.

Photo by Gary Kalpakoff

The Vicktory dogs have their own special page. Be sure to bookmark it!