He was OK with the actual swimming, maybe just a bit worried, but he wasn't keen about having his lifejacket thing put on at all. I suspected that he might not be: this is why I wanted to take him at least once before he went home.
He had a real go at the lifejacket and snarled ferociously at the vet nurse too. He seems to have issues with any unfamiliar object that has to go over his shoulders, particularly when it's being put there by someone who he doesn't know. In the end, he let me put the jacket onto him with no problems, but I think he might have bitten the vet nurse if she had tried it. The lifejacket has a hook on it, so that once he is in the pool, the dog can be fixed in the middle of it on a pole and keeps swimming until his session is over!
Tommy was so funny with the balls that were used as lures to get him into the pool : he obviously had counted them going in, so when he was allowed to get out, and was given one of the balls as a reward, he put it away in the corner, went back to the pool and stood up on his hind legs to see where the others had got to. We had to give him all of them one at a time, so he could put them all away apart from the last one, which he chewed triumphantly while he was being towelled off.
I suggested to his adopter that she leaves it a week before taking him swimming, so that Tommy has a chance to get to know her first. He is a really good little dog, he just needs a bit of time to get to trust someone before they do stuff that he's not sure about. With a bit of luck he will be more confident next time he goes (at a new pool near his adopters' house in London).
And then on Saturday, his new people turned up to meet him.
They got on well from the start (Mr Adopter seemed happy to keep rolling the ball to Tommy infinate numbers of times, which definitely helped) and when they came back on Sunday to take him home, he trotted off without a backward glance. They were staying with friends who had three very bouncy dogs, and I thought it might be a bit much to take him to a new place with three new dogs, then another journey the next day. They brought a throw from their house for him to sleep on, which I thought was a nice idea, though I had some difficulty making sure that it was Tommy that slept on it...
I tried putting out more beds, but that caused this to happen :
Eventually, I took the throw off the dog bed and managed to get things arranged like this :
That's Suma Bungle on the big dog bed, Brythen scrunched up on the little whippet-sized dog bed, and Tommy with the throw in front of the fire. I'm not sure what Purple Octopus is doing with the green boomerang there, but he has had a tough day and had to be re-stitched, so let's not judge him.
I spoke to Mrs Adopter today (Monday), and it sounds like he's fitted right in with his new owners - already seems very settled and confident and has been very well behaved. Well done Tommy! I'd hoped he wouldn't be worried again, as he was when he came to me, and it doesn't sound as though he is. He'd only been here a couple of months, so I suppose it's not like losing a home he was in for most of his life.
Unfortunately, Adopter's cat, Eric, is furious, and has been doing a lot of swearing, spitting and even attacking Tommy! I've given them some advice on this and I'm hoping that Eric (who, after all is 13!) will not have the stamina to keep up a really serious fit of the grumps. They are going to manage it for a few days keeping them more or less separate, and see how it goes.
In other news, I have wormed Henning, Yama, Kjetil, Perl, and Suma and, a day later Footie, when I finally caught him. The vet receptionist was surprised I spent the extra on buying drop-on rather than pill wormers. I deduce she has never tried to get worm tablets into six cats in succession...
Update Tuesday 27th : Adopters have just sent me this photo: I think it's going to be OK :-D