Christine and Puka have been part of the Lasso family from the very beginning, back when we where making the first Lassos from our own apartments! Needless to say we found incredible joy in reading the story of how Puka learned to swim!
Puka has been fascinated by water ever since she was a puppy. I remember she would always want to play with the sprinklers in the neighborhood and wrestle with the hose in the garden. She would even jump into the shower without being prompted. One summer afternoon we were invited to a friend’s house for a pool party. Puka was running around the pool with her dog friend, Dolly, while Dolly was chasing balls and doing belly flops into the water. Puka would cry as she watched in excitement. A friend at the party had a fun idea to put Puka in the pool too. “Let’s see if Puka will swim with Dolly!” she said. I didn’t think twice about it because all of the dogs I had growing up naturally knew how to swim. My friend scooped Puka up and put her in the pool. It was like a cartoon! She didn't even float. We stood looking over the edge for one second, maybe two, and I quickly realized bubbles were coming up but she was not. I dunked my hand into the pool and pulled Puka out as fast as I could and she ran around the pool like nothing even happened. That day I realized as much as she loves water, she cannot swim. Not long after this failed swim attempt I bought Puka a life vest to help teach her how to stay afloat. I used treats and toys to encourage her. I took her to the beach often. She would splash around in the ocean and even though the waves came crashing down on her and clearly she had no idea what she was doing, Puka loved every minute of it. But progress was slow. For whatever reason, Puka could not figure out how to kick her legs to stay afloat when she was in the water.
One day we were driving up the coast of California with my boyfriend, Davis, and we came across a beautiful lagoon. We pulled off so we could explore the area and let Puka play in the water. The sky was clear and the weather was warm; it was the perfect day to play on the shore. Davis started skipping rocks out onto the lagoon when all of a sudden Puka got a wild idea. Davis tossed a rock and before we knew, Puka was following the skipping stone straight out into the lagoon! She had no idea that the lagoon got deeper the further she went out. As soon as her legs no longer touched solid ground, her instincts kicked in and she started swimming for the first time. Davis and I were elated! We were the most proud parents watching our kid awkwardly staying above the water and screaming on the shore “COME ON, PUKA!” She made a smooth U-turn and doggy paddled her way back to us. That was Puka’s first time swimming on her own and it was one of the most exciting moments I’ve shared with her. Puka has never been afraid of water and I don’t think she ever will be.
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