Pup with Anxiety Issues Calms Down When He Can Swim

The following story was a winner in the Tales of Summer Tails Photo and Story contest. The top three finishers received $500 in cash, as well as $2,000 in cash and supplies for their favorite shelter. To read more stories, click here!

Murphy is our “Baby Boy” rescue. He experiences extreme anxiety at times, which often gets mistaken for aggression.


One way we help him is with exercise. We have a boat and hoped that Murphy would enjoy it. At first he wasn’t sure, but being with his “pack” was more important, so he tolerated it.


We have a swimming hole we like to go to and discovered that Murphy didn’t know exactly what to do in the water. He felt that slapping the water with his front paws was the way to go. Well, his little bottom would sink and he would splash water to the point you’d think monsoon season was here.


But, little by little, over the course of a couple of years, his splashing turned to a dog paddle, and now he barely makes a wake. On top of that, he’s as fast as a torpedo and likes to head out to the open sea (his GPS is a little off).

Nowadays, when we arrive at the swimming hole, we have to fight him to get to the ladder to put it down so he can jump in. He even knows he can’t swim without his life jacket on. What a great way to relieve some of the tension anxiety causes. He truly is a fish out of water.


This story was submitted by Steve Woznicki in support of Starting Over Airedale Rescue. To read other stories from the Tales of Summer Tails Photo and Story contest, click here!

People, Pets & Planet

Help where it’s needed most at GreaterGood for free!