He did it. Rugby took the giant leap off of the life raft and into the pool today. No leash necessary to get him swimming this time, but it did take lots of coaxing and me stranding him on the raft in the middle of the pool to make it happen. Some little part of Rugby wants to be a water dog. I am sure of it.
After he had mastered his pool entry from the raft, I asked him to swim to me from the steps in the pool. He was tempted to just leave all together but came to me every time I asked! With his polished swimming skills, he won't be needing any more rescue missions in the near future! Don't worry Sherpa, we still need you for other things, like being Rugby's personal taxi service.