Holy Sheee-ut! That was too, too close!

I'm sitting here on the back porch writing a long-overdue blog round-up for Funny. Pup and Cassie are dorking around, squabbling over bully sticks, loafing, and (in Pup's case) searching for noxious plants to chew on. Pup wanders over to the east end of the backyard, a place she hasn't explored yet, for reasons I do not know. She drops a magnificent load over there and is roundly congratulated (she hasn't used the Floor Diapers even once in TWO DAYS!) and...and somehow she manages to wriggle past the barricade I've put up there to keep her and my son's dog away from the deep end of the pool.

The far end of the pool, which is very deep, a good eight or ten feet, hosts a Texas ranger and a feathery cassia. They're very pretty, but they block the human's access to the narrow band of pool decking over there. The dogs can get under the shrubbery, but I can't -- the only way I can reach that area is to swim to it.

I see her toddling along over there and think uh-oh... Shedding the shoes, I start to walk, as quietly as possible, around the shallow end to reach that side, there (I hope) to coax her toward me and out of danger.

Too effing late. Before I can reach the pool she tumbles in!

She's as far away from me as she can get and she's in the deepest part of the drink.

I run to the deep end and jump in fully clothed. Fortunately, by instinct she paddles hard enough to keep her head above water...briefly. My feet slip as I go airborne and I hit the water cattywampus. So it takes me a split second to right myself and swim toward her, during which she starts to go under. I reach her just as she gets one hell of a snootful, grab a leg, and lift her high enough so her head is out of the water.

Fortunately we're close to the bench, so I'm able to climb out of the pool. Wrap her with a kitchen towel long enough to pull off the jeans -- damn, but wet bluejeans are heavy! The pup is shivering, I'm shivering. Race her to the bathroom and wrap her in a bath towel; retrieve an electric heater from the closet and plug it in. Sit in front of the heater drying the dog. Which mercifully doesn't take much.

She's none the worse for wear: right now having a grand frolic with a ball.

Well, I'll say this: the water's not as cold as I expected...

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Comment by Vicky Hay on March 23, 2014 at 11:57pm

@ Linda: I knew the water was cold enough to be dangerous -- it was December, and the night before had been one of the coldest on record. In late March, actually, the pool is almost warm enough to swim in. But it must be said that taking a flying leap into the deep end with all your clothes on is less than bright. But...I didn't think Pup would make it until I could haul the bluejeans off. I'm a fairly strong swimmer and knew to expect to be weighed down...soooo.... Lordie!

Comment by Linda on March 23, 2014 at 11:04pm

Yikes!  Poor Anna...she must have been so traumatized from that.  Glad you had enough presence of mind to make that call...not sure if I would have thought to do that.  The things we do to take care of and protect our animals.

Comment by Vicky Hay on March 23, 2014 at 10:43pm

Gosh, yes.

In her extreme dotage, Anna the Gershep -- who had gone pretty much blind by then -- fell into the pool after she'd gone out the doggy door (usually she couldn't find it: in her senility she confused the shower with the doggy door, but this particular night she managed to get outside on her own). She swam to the bench, but she was so decrepit and weak she couldn't pull herself out.

I was, as usual, working into the night. Along about 10:30 I got up, realized the dog wasn't in the house, and went outside to find her hunkered on the bench in icy, icy water. God, but it was cold! We'd had a hard freeze the night before and several nights prior, and I don't think the weather got much over 45 or 50 that day. I think she was in the water about 45 minutes.

Grabbed a walk-around phone while I was shucking off my clothes. Ran to the front of the house and unlocked the front door. Called 9-1-1 and told the operator that I was an elderly woman who was about to jump into the deep end of a very cold pool to try to get an 80-pound dog out of the water, and I didn't know what would happen when I hit the water -- please send help.

The fire department showed up shortly after I managed to haul Anna out of the water. I'd just pulled my jeans on over my nekkidness as the men came busting out into the backyard.

Now THAT was crisp. Very, very crisp.

Comment by Linda on March 23, 2014 at 10:20pm

Glad she is none the worse for wear...you too.  Maybe that episode will keep her away from the edge of the pool for a while.  Glad it wasn't as cold as you expected, here it would be barely above freezing.

Comment by Alison Prasavath on March 23, 2014 at 10:03pm
Oh no! Hopefully lesson learned.

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