Thor the Boston Terrier can practice his high-flying skills during the cold and snowy months since his mom and dad had an indoor pool built just for him.
Mom Lisa Mazurek had been taking Thor to a lake about 10 minutes from their Vernon, B.C. home since before the pup turned a year old. Since it wasn’t always practical to go out to the lake, mom and dad put a pool in the back yard.
“We started with a little pool, then moved to a bigger pool and bigger pool, so finally we had a 15-foot pool in the backyard,” said Mazurek.
“He’s a Natural”
Thor would gleefully launch himself into the pool, and Mazurek decided to post some videos on Instagram just for fun.
“We just thought it was cute and people were like, you should get your dog into dock diving,” she said.
In dock diving, dogs leap into a specially designed pool to retrieve toys and compete to see which dog can jump the farthest.
Mazurek couldn’t find any dock diving group or facility near her.
“As crazy as it sounds, living where we do there is absolutely nothing like that anywhere in the valley here,” she said. “The nearest facility to us right now is Calgary.”
So last year, Thor and family made the 550-mile, six hour trip to Calgary to check out dock diving.
“When you go to these things, they want to give you a lesson first and see what your dog can do, because a lot of dogs start off with zero experience,” said Mazurek. “[Thor] took one jump off of there and the instructor was like, you don’t need my help anymore, he’s a natural.”
Thor did extremely well in competition, with a personal best jump of 17 feet 7 inches, which earned him his Master title, one step below the top title of Elite. For that he has to jump over 21 feet.
“He hasn’t had any jumps to 21 feet yet, so we’ve got a big goal ahead of us,” said Mazurek.
Because there aren’t any dock diving facilities nearby, and because Thor and his family live in British Columbia where winters are snowy and cold, there are many months that he’s unable to practice.
“The winter before last we kind of thought, you know, it’d be really great if we could have him swimming all year round because he does tend to get a little fluffy in the winter like some of us do, because he likes to eat almost as much as he likes to swim,” said Mazurek.
So, they set up a pool in their small, unattached garage.
“It lasted probably for two weeks, and then the temperatures went down and everything got too cold and it just didn’t work out,” said Mazurek.
When Thor got even more into swimming last summer, thoughts again went to installing a pool in the garage.
“And the next thing you know, we were talking to a contractor, asking him how much it would cost,” said Mazurek.
“We kind of sold ourselves on the idea that if we did it right, that the garage can also be used as a flex space if someone decided not to have a pool in here,” she said.
They went ahead with their plans and construction started in mid-October.
Mazurek thinks Thor had an idea of what was going on.
There is never NOT a good time for swimming…. #fypシ
A Private Pool for One. One Dog.
“We let him come in here a couple of times during the construction process and because there had been a tiny pool in here the winter before, I feel like he had an idea because he seemed really excited when he was coming in here,” she said.
The pool is about 2.5 feet deep and 10 feet in diameter. The pool itself isn’t heated but the room temperature is about 85 degrees so the water warms to about 80 degrees.
“The first day [Thor] came in here he put his paws up on the pool, took a look in and then ran over to Dad, like thank you, thank you. He was so excited.“
Thor swims at least twice a day and is just as excited to hit the water now as he was that very first time, squeaking with glee as he does his laps.
The first time Thor squeaked Mazurek worried that maybe he had hurt himself.
“Now we know he just squeaks because he’s excited,” she said. “He is the happiest dog I’ve ever seen in my life.”
A Break for Senior Sibs
Thor, who turns 4 in June, has two older dog siblings, 13-year-old Charlie and 9-year-old Daisy.
“Here’s the thing…[Charlie] is really old, and doesn’t really go for the shenanigans, especially the shenanigans of a Boston Terrier,” said Mazurek. And, 9-year-old Daisy isn’t in the best health. So, Thor’s swimming is a good outlet for him.
“Bostons have a lot of energy, so if you take him swimming, he’s tired and he comes back in the house and he’s not rustling up problems in the house, so it actually benefits the whole group,” said Mazurek.
With another round of winter about to hit this week, it is fun to think of sunshine, warm winds and a soaring Thor… #foryou #summervibes
A Little Joy During Difficult Times
When Covid hit, Mazurek, a professional photographer, started posting photos of Thor on Instagram to bring cheer to people. It was when she started posting videos of Thor swimming that things took off.
“We woke up one day and he had 10,000 people following him on TikTok, now he has 54,000 people following him on TikTok, it’s pretty crazy. He’s just a really, really happy guy.”
Mazurek said she gets messages of thanks from Thor’s fans.
“He has people who like to watch him swim because he helps with depression, it helps take anxiety away,” she said.
“If one little video or taking a picture can make one person smile or improve somebody’s day, it’s the least I can do, because there’s just not enough of it out there. It’s really easy to share happiness of Thor, especially if it makes somebody’s day a little bit better, right? It’s nothing for us, but it can make a difference to somebody else.”
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