Tuesday, November 18, 2008

No Swimming!

I keep a very close eye on my Kids. It would be fair to say that I am just a bit over-protective of them. Yeah. Okay. That might be an understatement...

Newfie came over to play yesterday afternoon - a friend's Giant Schnauzer puppy [at nine months old she is a big puppy!]. We were all outside - me and the three Kids. The three of them were all romping and playing and jumping and snarling. I must be very easily amused, because I get a big kick out of just watching them all. I was on one side of the pool - at the end where our patio table is - and the Kids were all on the other side of the pool at the end where the chaise lounges are. I was watching as Newfie got into her "crouch and pounce" position ready to playfully "attack" The Boy, who, anticipating her "attack" backed up in one big jump and SPLASH! Into the pool he went.

Somehow The Boy was able to catch himself at the edge of the pool and was gripping and clinging with his two front legs to not end up fully submersed - and as I ran to "rescue" him I was yelling, "Honey! Come Help Me!!! The Boy is in the pool! DH came racing out of the house and pushed me out of the way and grabbed The Boy and pulled him out by his collar. Both girls - The Baby and Newfie were right there too, to "help" and had to be pushed out of the way so that DH could grab The Boy.

DH and I have discussed this before - what I need to do to get the Kids out of the pool if they fall in. It goes without saying that if I would have had to I would have been in the pool in an instant to get The Boy if DH wouldn't have been right there to help me. There is no way I'm going to be able to pull a [soaking wet] 120-pound Great Dane out of the pool. I will somehow have to get him to the steps so that he can get out on his own, which will likely mean that I will have to be IN the pool to get him to the steps. In June, July and August the water is quite warm. It is November though, and the water is NOT warm. It is cold.

This is the second time that The Boy has gone into the pool, backwards. He, apparently, just does not have a conception that the pool is there. The first time was this past February. DH was there - in fact, he was the reason The Boy backed up into the pool. DH had just come out of the garage with a rake [in The Boy's eyes rakes are very, very scary]. The Boy crouched and snarled and leaped back at the sight of the rake - straight into the pool. The Baby has gone into the pool once, accidentally as well, but she knows how to swim - and she is much smaller than The Boy so I am not quite as concerned about The Baby being in the pool as I am with The Boy. I think The Boy can probably swim - but since he is not overly fond of water, I'm not a hundred percent on that...

Any suggestions as to how to keep The Kids out of the pool, short of putting up a "No Swimming" sign? Putting up an orange safety net fence is an idea but there is no way to anchor it - DH is NOT going to let me pound stakes into the tile we had laid surrounding the pool - and I do worry that in that one split instant that I am not out there or watching from the kitchen windows that something could happen. Perhaps putting life-vests on them when they are outside playing is what I am going to have to do. We will be in the States for the Holidays and I may just go ahead and purchase a couple of them while we are there. I just don't know what I am going to do until then. I will have to make very clear to the babysitter who will be here with The Kids while we are gone that HE MUST AT ALL TIMES be outside with them when they are out. And, I need to find out if he can swim.

My goodness. Who knew that a pool could present such peril?!?


  1. Have you thought about getting a Skamper Ramp? It attaches to the edge of your pool, and is a board that has holes throughout it so animals can have something to hold on to and pull themselves out. I think Skamper Ramp is the brand name of one type of this item, there are probably lots more.

  2. I don't know if they could do this for you guys, but have someone come in and measure to have a pool cover installed - from that mesh they use to cover carports. Do you know what I mean? They would have to have it done the right way so the mesh is very taught, but that's the only thing I can think of. Unless you're worried about them running or walking on it. That could be an issue you don't want to deal with, but if you're gonna be gone at least you'll have peace of mind that the boy won't fall in.

    I've also seen in the states where they will drill holes about 4 feet apart, insert rods and have the mesh as a fence. When it's installed, it's pretty taught too - people do it there for safety when they've got kids.

    Now you just gotta find someone to do it. They totally can - you've just got to draw it up. We had a great picnic cover made from some of that mesh, it's got canvas hem on it and then had some metal rods made from the iron shops. Voila! To boot, a canvas bag was sewn for it too.

  3. Angela - Just looked up the Scamper Ramp. Never even knew they made such a product. Thank you!

    L_O - I really am going to look into doing the mesh around the pool with rods that can be inserted and removed. DH won't be thrilled, but I'll feel better knowing the "fence" is there. We put orange mesh up around half the yard after we had grass planted - amazing how well it worked as a barrier for my Kids. The Boy could EASILY have jumped it and never did; ditto for The Baby. It worked wonderfully. I think that would work better than a pool cover - which they would - no doubt look at as just an "extension of the yard." I can just picture The Boy going through it!

  4. A pool is the last thing I want next to my house! You know I am a cat!

    Best advice: fill the pool with sand and make a play area!
    or get your kids indoors

  5. Bobby - Trust me that these Kids are indoor Kids. They are never, ever left outside beyond a minute or two, alone. And, now, after yesterday, they won't be left for even a minute or two! I cannot fill the pool with sand - it doesn't belong to us - and the very reason we moved into this house was so that I could have a pool. I spend way too much time enjoying it to fill it with sand - although I will say, I like the idea...

  6. The ramp thing sounds like a really good idea. Can The Boy put his feet down in the shallow end? Maybe you can put a chair or something there for him to stand on so he can climb out easily. All dogs can swim though so as long as you don't leave him in there for too long he will be fine. Maybe you could give him swimming lessons so he doesn't panic if he falls in. I don't think a mesh is a good idea though - if they fell underneath it or through it they'd be in real trouble plus it would be a real pain to pull back and forward every time you wanted to use the pool.

  7. The cover is definitely out, Rose. Didn't even think about them falling under it - if they fell through it. What The Boy doesn't realize is that he is tall enough to stand in either end with his front paws and head out of the water. He is - standing on his back legs - as tall as I am! And, I suspect, like you said, he probably can swim - but he does the "panic thing" instead so he doesn't realize it. I have seen The Baby swim, so I don't worry about her as much. The Baby seems to have been born with just a few more brain cells than The Boy. Poor little guy...

  8. This is a huge problem in Miami and there is an easy solution!

    Can you get a cone or a large plastic pole and stick it where the pool steps are? It does not have to be drilled into the ground. The pole serves as a marker for the steps.

    Here is the traumatic part: Push the dog into the pool and have someone in the pool near the steps calling to the dog. Be ready with treats once the dog comes to the steps.

    After a few tries, the dog associates the pole or cone with the steps and learns how to get out of the pool.

  9. Excellent idea, Samantha! I should have worked on this all summer with the Kids. I can even handle the "traumatic" part if it comes down to knowing that I do not have to worry about the Kids drowning because one of them falls in the pool - that would be MUCH, MUCH, MUCH more traumatic for me. I will find a way to "mark" the steps - cone, pole, something.


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