10 Things a Guide Dog Thinks During Swim Practice

Blake the Guide Dog

10 Things a Guide Dog Thinks During Swim Practice

Hi, my name is Blake The Guide Dog. My mom is McClain Hermes and her eyes do not work very well. That’s why I am here. I am her eyes and I guide her around trying not to run her into things. She does this thing called swimming and, apparently, she’s quite good at it, too. She even competed in the Paralympic Games when she was only 15 years old! Anyway, all I know is we spend a lot of time at the pool. It can get quite boring watching the humans swim back and forth and you can only chew on a bone for so long. So, here are some things I think about during her swim practice.

1. “It’s way too early! It’s still dark outside!”

A 4:30 a.m. wakeup call? It’s the crack of dawn! I need my beauty sleep. You think these curls come naturally?

2. “Are we back at the pool, again?”

Blake the Guide Dog

Photo Courtesy: McClain Hermes

Doubles on doubles on doubles. All we do is go back and forth to and from the pool all day. Wish she would lead me some day, and I could just do the walking.

3. “Wait… where’d they go?”

They like to swim under the water too much. Sometimes I’m scared they are drowning. If that was the case… Oh, I hate water. I’m not sure what I would do. I guess I could bark loud enough to get the lifeguard to notice.

4. “Why do they like to throw themselves off those block things?”

Diving off the starting block is really confusing to a guide dog. I like to bark at them to tell them when to go. I’m better than that coach yelling at them to start. He should come over here and scratch my belly instead.

5. “Ha! She just ran into the wall… again!”

I wish McClain would learn how to flip-turn in the pool already. It didn’t take me this long to be trained as a guide dog. Geez.

6. “Stop splashing me! I’m trying to take a nap!”

Swim practice is ample time to take get some shut eye when you’re a guide dog, except when it feels like it’s raining on my siesta. And besides that, have you ever had to sleep on a cold, wet pool deck? It ain’t the Ritz.

7. “Hey! You better tap her!”

I must keep everyone on their toes around here. These people should know swimming is not a contact sport.

8. “I think some of their legs are hairier than mine.”

Blake the Guide Dog

Photo Courtesy: McClain Hermes

They need a groomer, and I could recommend a good one.

9. “Secrets? I know them all! I’m the only guy allowed in the girls locker room!”

I wonder how much people would pay me to know the intel I have gathered. I sure do hear a lot of juicy details about college life and boys, oh boys, lots of boy talk! A penny for your thoughts? More like a penny for your secrets!”

10. “I wanna race! I bet I would win.”

Even though I don’t like water, I can sure chase a tennis ball! My doggie paddle is probably more superior than their front crawl any day.

I work hard to give McClain more independence and confidence in her life. I am so happy to be her guide dog as well as her best friend.

Guide dog when the human is on the land. Comic or Comedian when she is in the water. That’s me!

If you see me at the pool and I am on harness, I’ve got a job to do. But if I’m off harness, I am off duty, so please come say hi!

Signing off- Blake The Guide Dog, aka your No. 1 Swim Fan.


  1. avatar

    This is adorable!!! I love this article.

  2. avatar
    Carol Matthews

    Love it! McClain you continue to amaze me , your talent has no limits! ♥️

  3. avatar
    Bea Bradford

    Very good read. Enjoyed it very much. Swim fast. Love you.

  4. avatar
    Marisa K

    As always super creative, and funny! You two make the best team💗!

  5. avatar
    Julie Austin

    Blake! <3

  6. avatar

    Such a fun perspective! Both of you are so amazing. And I’m super proud of you! Keep being amazing McClain!

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