Through the confusion of rushing water, she drives toward the surface, searching for a breath of air and her yellow chew toy. When Morgan emerges from the pool into the hot Missouri summer, it’s with a smile that says she’s ready to go again. She dives into the water with pure joy and total abandon. The tumbling yellow chew toy that precedes her is just a formality, really, a signal that says, “go ahead.” This dock diving champion doesn’t need any incentive to take a plunge. The leap, the landing, the water flowing over and around her—that’s what she’s really after. It’s what she’s been after all her life.
It was August of 2009 in Miami, Florida, when Morgan first dove into the backyard swimming pool. Her owners had recently adopted her from a local animal shelter, no doubt taken by those kind brown eyes and gentle disposition. After they fished the happy swimmer from her in-ground paradise, they told her that the pool was no place for a dog and tried not to crack a smile at the guilty look on her wet face. But it happened again. And again. And before long, it was becoming a worrisome habit. They couldn't let Morgan out without wondering if she'd wind up right back in the water. They considered returning her to the shelter, in the hope that they could find a more suitable home for her. A home without a pool.
But instead, she was re-adopted by a trainer named John Casey, who took her to live with him in St. Louis. There, she found a home that was made for her, because it had a pool that was made for dogs. John taught her to dive from a dock—not that she needed much instruction. Morgan was a natural, and has developed into a serious contender at competition. After years of training, Morgan still won’t stay of out the pool. But these days, that’s kind of the point.