Montel has only once been swimming. He has avoided most other kinds of water -- like the paddling pool and the bath tub -- unlike his other family members. He even dislikes drinking from his water dish and, during his first summer, he had to be fed watermelon because he was not getting enough liquid. The dude just does not like water.
This weekend, The Guy and I decided to head to a friend's cabin. Monty was getting a little nervous when we started packing (I mean, in his mind we just got here, why are we leaving?) but when we packed his dishes he knew he was coming too. We piled our stuff into the truck and set off for the beach.
When we got to the cabin, it didn't take us long to head into the water. I'm not a strong swimmer, so I stayed near the shore. Monty followed me until his belly got wet and then he was out of there. Or so I thought. The group decided to head out to the "party barge" a blow-up floating raft with 5 seats and two coolers. They had put it out into the water (up to about 8 feet deep) and anchored it tightly. I figured that since I could walk out 3/4 of the way, I could likely make it too.
I got my life jacket on and started out to the barge. The others had already made it, so they sat and watched me flounder out. Suddenly, The Guy started yelling. I had already gotten to the part where my feet didn't touch the bottom, so I had to keep going. But I figured out what was going on. Monty had decided he was more afraid of being alone (with my friend's chocolate lab, Whiskey) than he was afraid of the water. He had followed me. By the time I got onto the barge, I turned back to see Montel. Eyes bugged out of his head, body drenched with water, and paddling as hard as he could, Montel was coming to me if it killed him.
And it almost did. Whiskey thought it was a great idea, so jumped into the water to follow Monty. She even thought they could play for a bit and, in her exuberance, almost dunked Monty a few times. Eventually, Monty made it to the raft. The Guy pulled him into the raft and passed him to me. My friend had to jump out and take Whiskey back to shore because she was too big for the raft and too stubborn to go back to shore.
We sat on the raft for about an hour. Despite drying out for the most part, Montel trembled and shook in my arms. Then it came time to go back. I headed out first because we figured Monty would not swim back without me. The Guy waited with Monty on the ledge of the raft. Monty refused to go in the water. He looked at The Guy as though to stay "I'm fine. I will stay here. Come get me in the fall." but The Guy knew there was no choice. As soon as I had reached solid ground and could turn around for Monty, The Guy threw Monty into the water.
There he was again. Eyes bugged out, looking like a drowned rat, struggling towards me. He was doused by every wave. He looked frantic. Finally he reached me and lept from the water into my arms. I turned around to wade to shore. As I neared shore, I tripped on a rock and dunked Monty again.