For better or worse, the day before my neighbour took her for a walk and my dog went in the water and then rolled around in the dirt; it made the decision for me. I had her "shaved" but not to skin, of course. The groomer is extra special and it took 2.5 hours. Because of her many mixed breeds, her coat was long in some places, short in others, curly in some, undercoat in some areas, not others...... it was a hard decision, but one I can live with as we love her to pieces... but want her to enjoy the water and still want to keep our garden. I think at at 68 it's a big late in life to have a younger dog that is so active, but didn't think about the future when we got her and no way we would part with her now. I do agree that it is best if you can leave the dogs' coats' "as is" but sometimes we have to choose second best. Thanks for everyone's input. J.