I took Banjo to the local swimming hole yesterday. There was one other dog there and then a father and his 10-11yo son walked up with their little kelpie x. They threw some sticks in the water and then the boy suddenly threw his soccer ball in. Funny how kids do things without thinking.
My immediate reaction was to say: "You may never get that ball back". And of course the dogs jump in after the ball and Banjo gave it a few pushes, away from the shore , and then they all lost interest. The ball eventually came to a rest on some greenery floating in the middle of the pond.
The boy threw a few more sticks in the water and then started walking off. Banjo swam for a stick close to the ball, then started swimming back to us. But halfway back it looked like she thought "Nah, I can't just leave it". She swam back to the ball and managed to hook her teeth into the grooves and swam back to shore holding it! Proof how good a swimmer she is too because she had her mouth wide open and didn't swallow any water.
We called to the boy that his ball was coming back after all. Unfortunately by the time he got back, Banjo had dropped the ball on the sloping shore and it rolled straight back into the water. But she eventually did get it out again.
I was so proud of her, even though it was not something I taught her and she had no idea she was being helpful at all. And it wasn't as if she had saved a baby from drowning, but I still thought it was a bit of a Lassie-like thing to do.