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Our old paddling pool got thrown out a couple of years ago and we never replaced it. Our house’s outdoor tap was put on the other side of our house, ie the lodger’s side. So it’s always a nightmare to fill one up. Buckets aren’t the easiest or fastest. During the recent heatwave we gave in and decided to buy one again.
Before that decision I did set N the task of trying to make a makeshift one from bits and pieces on the farm and a tarp, but we realised a) we didn’t have enough wood, any bales etc. And b) the tarp wasn’t going to be waterproof enough. The prospect of finding the right kind of heavy duty sheeting was just too hard, so buying a pool was done. Of course we had to wait a few days because even with Amazon Prime, it took longer than next day.
Luckily N did get a day of being in the paddling pool* before the rain came. Hopefully we’ll get some more sunny and warm weather before the end of the summer.
The electric camping pump came in handy and then it was a case of filling it. I’d bought a hose attachment before this lot of lodgers moved next door so we could swipe water from the tap if needed. They’d removed the hose itself so we had to track that down somewhere on the farm – N and his cousin had taken it over to the farm a while ago). Then it was N’s job to fill it up.
He didn’t want it too deep, so it was quite fast, and he was soon out there in his swimming gear enjoying the sun. He decided that socks were the way to go to keep cool after seeing it on one of his favourite youtuber’s channel, so of course it’s true!
We were relieved the puppies have largely stayed clear of it.The german shepherd dog hates the water (until she’s in) so we knew she’d be ok. But the labrador loves water – go into a field with a water trough and she’s in like a shot! So when it’s not being used, the tarp has gone over the top, held down with wood and a garden chair, plus when the storms came I fashioned some guy ropes and used tent pegs to hold it down. The huge rain puddle that’s now gathered in the middle has held too – I will have to investigate to see how much of that has dripped through!
So far only the German Shepherd has been to investigate, but she’s more scared of the structure than we need to be of her. The other one hasn’t discovered it yet. (The older labrador knows to only go in when told to, so she’s pretty safe to have around).
Keeping the dogs cool
The dogs have plenty of shade, but much of the time they like to roam around even when the temperature is over 30C. 2 of them switch from indoors to outside, the others kennel area is under cover, and there’s plenty of trees to sit under if needed.
If you take them for walks in the fields, one will get in the water troughs straight away. The funniest was watching her trying to fit into the oversized (but still too small bucket) of water put out for the sheep in the paddock behind. She didn’t care that it wasn’t really big enough, she will just squeeze her labrador body into a circular shape and go round and round to fit and enjoy the water.
The german shepherd pup isn’t so keen. You need to actually put her in water to cool her off. Once she’s in, she’ll have a right splash around enjoying it, but she’ll stay clear given the choice, even though she must feel sweltering with all her fur.
This week the OH and N found a spare water trough and put it in the farmhouse garden, filled it up and let the dogs loose. Of course the labrador was straight in there, splashing all over, ducking under the divider bar, and hopping in and out again. She was living her best life! The others just looked until they got a brief cool off in it too.
Hopefully now they’ve got their own little paddling pool, they’ll stay clear of N’s. I did spot the german shepherd skulking around having a nosy at the blue monstrosity in the garden, but she legged it, seemingly scared of it. The labrador hasn’t been round to see it yet.
We only got in 1 day before the rain came, but let’s hope we get dry weather back again for another dip before summer is over.
Have your children (or dogs) been enjoying paddling pools at home?