Amanda Vermeer worked and now visits a campsite near the lake, and no one is shocked or upset when she or someone else notices a dog swimming happily across the lake in the distance. This is simply Thunder, and he does it on a daily basis.
Thunder is about ten years old now, but he is swimming every day from his home in the camp on the other side of the lake for as long as anyone can remember. Becomeshte has become his routine, and no matter how hard his family tries to stop him, he always achieves what he wants.
“I honestly believe swimming across the lake is his favorite part of the whole thing, but on the side of the lake camp, I think he just likes to roam from camping to camping site greeting everyone,” Vermeer told The Dodo. “I’m sure people give him small pieces of food from time to time, so this is a plus in his view as well.”
When someone observes Thunder, they always phone his father to inform him that Thunder has done it again. Thunder’s father’s phone number is now saved in the phones of all the locals and campsite regulars. They all know they’ll need it on a frequent basis.
Credits: AMANDA VERMEER
“If his owner doesn’t get a call first, he jumps in his vehicle and patrols around the lake looking for him,” Vermeer said. “He typically hangs out at the campsite, so that’s the first place he’ll look. Thunder doesn’t swim home because his excursions are too much fun.”
Credits: AMANDA VERMEER
Thunder’s family has tried a number of tactics to persuade him to stay by his side of the lake, but they have come to embrace him as part of Thunder’s personality. In a text message to Vermeer, his father said: “I will never stop him from swimming … because it is his passion. This is something I will never take away from him.”
Thunder appears to be aware that he will be apprehended at the campground and will be picked up by his father. It’s almost as if he’s playing a game. He swims across the lake before attempting to test how long he can stay in the campground before being apprehended. So far, he’s on a winning streak of his own.
“Whenever he reaches the coast and emerges from the water, he always seems so pleased with himself, as if he’s saying, ‘Tada!’ ‘Take a look, I’ve arrived!’ He prefers to do his own thing, so catching him and attaching a leash to him is never fun,” Vermeer added. “He gives us the side eye and whines when we cut his excursion short, but that can generally be fixed with some excellent strokes and scratches behind his ears and under his chin. When he hears his owner’s truck approaching, his tail wags and he becomes thrilled, as if to say, “Hey, that’s my dad!”
Thunder’s favorite part of his day is swimming across the lake. Thunder is a lake dog through and through, and his family, as well as everyone else who lives near the lake, has just accepted it.
“He’s been swimming over practically every day for the past seven summers; it’d be rare for Thunder not to swim across at this point,” Vermeer added.