Saturday, July 17, 2010

Swim Therapy for Bubba!

The Northern Virginia Animal Swim Center where Bubba swam today is nestled in the middle of what is known as the Hunt Country of Virginia. It's an area rich in the history of Virginia and the heartland of the Virginia equestrian industry. The Swim Center is a place where horses and dogs swim for both rehabilitation and conditioning.

In my much busier and active days with the rescue, I rehabbed many dogs that had orthopedic surgery at the swim center. Roger, the British gentleman that owns the center is someone that I've known for about 8 years. His dedication and kindness to the dogs and his friendship has truly made a difference! I just can't say enough good things about Roger and how much I love his accent!!

Okay, back to Bubba...He has arthritis and has trouble standing up and doing steps. My hope in taking him to swim is that he can rebuild lost muscle, get a better range of motion from it, which will allow him to get around better and easier.

As I said, I've taken many dogs swimming, and believe me, not all dogs like to swim. Just because you have a Golden Retriever or another breed known to enjoy water, it doesn't mean they are lovers of the water. I've had some dogs that if they never saw another body of water again, they would just fine with it! Thankfully Bubba is not one of these dogs. He was just fine in the water, which makes it so much easier! We started Bubba in the small lap pool just to see how he would do, and get him used to the water.

Pretty soon Bubba was getting the hang of it, but he still didn't look like he was really enjoying it.
As expected, because of the lack of strength in his back-end, the biggest problem Bubba had, was getting out of the pool.
After about 10 minutes, a couple of breaks, and a few more laps, for a total of about 25 minutes, Bubba told us that he'd had enough, so we ended the swim session for today.
And so I took a wet and very tired Bubba home. We go back on Thursday and maybe he'll be ready for the big pool, we'll just have to see.
If you'd like to read about the benefits of swim-therapy, here's a link to the Swim Centers website that has a little bit of information:


  1. Poor sweet Bubba! I bet he will have a good sleep tonight ~ poor pup!

    Hugs and kisses for him!
    xo Catherine

  2. Oh, what a tuckered out looking dog! But I bet he felt like he'd done a good day's work. What a wonderful facility to have close by!

  3. No, Bubba didn't look like he was having a fun time. I hope this therapy helps the poor boy! I'll bet he slept like a log later on.

    Being wet, makes him look thinner ;-)

  4. Oh to get inside that Golden Retriever head ;-)

    Mom says that is a beaWOOtiful drive through that part of VA - years bakhk, she when to the wine festival at The Plains - and from here she took the 15 South route to Leesburg/etc -

    Keep up the GReat work Bubba!

    Khyra and Khousin Merdie

  5. Great post! Thanks for sharing. It looks like a great facility. He'll be tired tomorrow, but I'll bet he'll be psyched for his next session!

    You are doing a great job!



  6. How lucky for Bubba that he found a home with someone willing and able to give him such special care! Many dogs wouldn't have such an option available to them. Bubby is one lucky dog, indeed!

  7. I sure do hope Bubba gains strength from the swimming therapy. Poor little guy looks so forlorn and wet. Hope he will be happy to see the water on Thursday.

  8. What a wonderful story. We are so happy for Bubba. What a shame his hind quarters are so weak. This is so the right thing to do for him. Bless you for trying so hard to give him a normal life. All of my Goldens have loved the water (lucky them, lucky me). I can attest to the fact that swimming makes them strong,confident and insures their mobility until well into their old age. Look forward to hearing about Bubba's progress.

  9. Hi Kim
    Your so thoughtful in taking Bubba to the pool to try and get his muscles tone built up. I bet he had a good time even though he was very tired.
    We have heard very good things about those rehab pools.
    I wonder if all the other doggys were a little jealous that they did not get to go. Maybe it is best to keep it a secret.
    One of my moms friends at her work- gets in the pool with her dog.
    Are you going to get in the pool too?

  10. Hi Kim,
    That Rogers a Silver Fox!! Accent, animal lover...great hair...can we keep him?

  11. thks for the link. That's one tired and happy looking dog in the last photo.

  12. Well done, Bubba! It's amazing how animals just seem to accept that we know what is good for them.

  13. Rest well sweet Bubba and hopefully the therapy will do what it's meant to ease your soreness and help you regain mobility. (my Francie would not care for this one bit unless it was to retrieve her ball!)

  14. what beautiful country!
    Bubba is a lucky boy to get swim therapy! i'm sure he is tired now, but surely will help him gain strength...such a handsome red bear!!
    are the new duo still joined at the hip? are they coming out of their shells a bit?

  15. Good boy, Bubba!

    Wow, he sure lookes pooped! It is wonderful that you have a facility close enough to use! I'm sure in time he'll feel stronger.

  16. Way to go Bubba! You looked kinda tired but you sure did good!*Purrs*

    Lu-Lu & Lucius

  17. Hi Kim and Bubba!
    Poor sweet Bubba was very brave and my heart goes out to him. The good part is I bet he doesn't mind having an afternoon alone with just the two of you sharing this adventure.
    Have a happy Sunday...
    Tina xo

  18. Mine is one of those dogs that hates water, unless SHE decides to wade in chasing some water must touch her tummy though or she is UNHAPPY! Your Bubba definitely looks like he was trying to live up to his humans' expectations, though I doubt he is clear on their good intent to help him regain that mobility which he has lost...I imagine when Bubba gets to the point of swimming because Bubba wants to swim, you'll know that therapy is working...Good luck to you and Bubba! (Was Bubba a swimmer BEFORE he developed the arthritis?) Looks like a great facility!

  19. This is good - Sam went a few times last year just for exercise - he loved it. Hope it helps Bubba

  20. Oh Bubba, Ms. Kim loves you so much and you are so lucky to live w/ her! Keep up the good work, Boy!

  21. Ooh, he looks so tired, but I'm thinking this will really become theraputic to him, in the long run.
    We have used tredmills to build up the back muscles also, but it has to be adjusted to each dog's strength.
    What a fantastic place, it seems to be full of kindness and devotion.

  22. Oh bless him. He looks absolutly pooped! I love the name Bubba...that's our pet name for the kids! S x

  23. I put albert into a warm bath after his broken leg!!!!!!

  24. poor Bubba, Molly is one of those doggies who hates water.....

    I hope he gets some relief from the water therapy.

    Gill in Canada

  25. Hey Bubba,

    Have you try using a doggy life jacket? It may make things easier for you?


  26. I used to go with my dad to take one of the horses to swim therapy, so I know the benefits....I'm sure Bubba will too.....soon! Bless him. LOL! xxx

  27. Bubba, what an awesome place! Go at your own pace, ok my friend!! Amazing therapy and a fantastic swim instructor :)

    Hugs and snaggle-tooth kisses,
    Sierra Rose

  28. Your countryside is beautiful. And Bubba...OMD, I am so in love...

  29. Bubba is a good boy! And so lucky to have you Kim in his life! Keep the great work you 2 =)

  30. I think he might like his trip out if nothing else.

  31. Oh sweet Bubba - what a GReat Mom you have who will help you with your arthritis. Hopefully the swimming time will help your old joints and will become more enjoyable as time goes by. If my Neeli lived closer, she'd love to come and go swimming with you!

    Kim, your countryside is just stunningly beautiful.

    An extra hug to Bubba from Apples & Neeli.

    Nadine Apples & Neeli

  32. GO BUBBA!!!!!!!!! Glad to hear Bubba is getting help with his back end!

    Lots of slobber,
    Droopy and Callie

  33. Way to go Bubba! Keep up the good work! Swimming is super good for you.
    The Road Dogs

  34. What a wonderful place you have there for rehab'ing the animals! Seems like there are a ton of doggie-angels there. Thanks for all the good you do for them, Kim!
    Sending lotsaluv

  35. Goo Bubba Goo! We'll be thinking of you, buddy, while your swimming away on Thursday. I know you can do it!

    Licks of Love,

  36. how awesome that you have such a facility nearby!
    Bubba looks like he had enough, for sure!
    Only one of our dogs likes water, and it is not our lab!!! I know, people just assume that all dogs do, but you are so right-I had a cat who enjoyed getting a bath more than my 3 non-water dogs do.