According to numerous dispatches from France that have reached Roo by trans-Atlantic carrier pigeon, the tadmouses missing from their pond in Maine are rumored to have reappeared on the Normandy coast. Naturally, this will require her to swim the freezing currents of the English Channel. To add a little spice to the feat, she will begin by reviving her old hobby of cliff jumping, leaping into the turbulent waters from the famous White Cliffs of Dover. I was hoping she had outgrown her love of the high dive, but she is adamant on this point. My only hope is that the British authorities will not grant her the exception she is seeking to their stringent quarantine requirements, which she is trying to avoid by relying on an obscure provision in ancient Scottish law which allows for a right of return similar to the one stonewalling the Israel-Palestine negotiations. Though this was never legislated to attract Golden retrievers, her case appears to be ironclad under her reading of the language of the statute, so the swim is likely to go ahead.
Unfortunately, Roo will have to accomplish the crossing while disadvantaged by her bizarre swimming style, in which she does not use her hind legs, preferring instead to tuck them up to her belly, much like the albatrosses who will be gazing down at her as she bobs up and down on the notoriously dangerous waves. The only benefit of this is the reduced speed at which she will ram into an iceberg, should one appear.
Though I am opposed to Roo undertaking such a risky swim, I know better than to try to talk her out of it. I am left with no alternative but to let Roo be Roo and do what I can to assist. In the accompanying video, I inspire her training by claiming — falsely — that the tadmouses have relocated to the far shore of her favorite pond. Incidentally, this was a serious error, because that end of the pond is filled with what appears to be a highly distilled concentrate of pine sap that is removable only with lengthy baths in peanut butter. Long-distance cold water swimmers usually slather themselves in Vaseline. Roo will probably swim the Channel encased in a thick bun of peanut butter. Perhaps it will reduce her fatigue by adhering her back paws to her belly, but whether it will do anything to repel the sharks is open to question. That is at the moment the least of our worries.
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