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Liz is a teenage girl recounting one of the best relationships she ever had in her life, that is between her and woman's best friend, her dog Rex. She tells us about how their relationship started, that originally, she didn't want a dog and she definitely didn't want him. But eventually over time they became the best of friends. But it was when she decided to learn how to swim that Rex became her biggest supporter. He sat at the pool watching her during her lessons and began to go with her to the beach. It was on a faithful day at the beach that Liz's life was changed forever. Doing what teenagers do Liz was having a wonderful time playing catch on the beach with her dog when the group decides to get in the water. Rex faithfully sits on the beach watching until someone throws his ball into the water and in he comes. At first Liz is amazed that her dog knew how to swim because she never taught him. He swims and gets his ball, brings it to Liz, and just like the game they had played so many times before she throws the ball and off he goes. After a few moments of talking with her friends she realizes that Rex has not returned. She searches for him frantically in the water and on the beach and he is nowhere to be found. When she finally sees him farther away from the beach than anyone else, in deeper water than she had ever swam, she goes out to get him. This is a story about a girl and her dog and what each of them were willing to do to save the life of the other. A joyful story that deals with the reality of life and the idea that sometimes something as simple as a trip to the beach can turn tragic in an instant. But it also tells us that even in the midst of tragedy there will always be sunrise over the water, always be a picture-perfect ending to represent a new beginning.

Out for a Swim

  • I've never been one to say that my parents are really good listeners. I have very clear memories of specifically asking for one thing and my parents collectively decided to get me the exact opposite. For example, for my 5th birthday I wanted a cupcake tower and they got me a sheet cake from the grocery store. For my 12th birthday I wanted a slumber party and my parents told me to pick one friend that could spend the night and go to the amusement park with us the next day, the exact opposite of a slumber party. I wanted a house full of screaming preteens running around all night long, telling ghost stories, scaring each other, eating pizza and drinking soda until we all got stomach aches and passed out. Waking up the next morning sick as can be but super happy, as I stand at the door and wave to all of my friends when their parents finally get around to picking them up. Nope, didn't get any of that. I even asked for a girl cat for my 16th birthday and my parents got me a male dog. Does it seem like they hate me? Yeah, they've never been great listeners but what I've realized is that sometimes my parents not listening to me truly paid off.

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