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Saturday, June 7, 2008

Messing About on the River


Much as I love him, few can deny my poor, beloved Jake is every bit as dense as he is sweet. The little lad has been feeling a wee bit deprived as of late, what with our roads being sealed off due to all the bikes racing past our drive and all. I've had to confine him to quarters rather more than he'd like. Pets and machinery make for a bad mix, besides, the noise of the engines are hard enough on our own ears, let alone on those of our four legged friends.

When cabin fever grabs either of my two eldest, they can escape lock-down via a slightly precarious, rather dodgy back route. You see, we may not be allowed out of our drive, but by cutting through our back garden, opening the gate and crossing down past the glen, if you balance your way over a slippery pile of boulders that straddles the river, then hike over the odd style and fence, you finish up able to cross over a field that leads on to an open road. Yesterday my eldest daughter, in her best of high heels, with her overnight bag slung over one shoulder, informed me she was taking off for a sleep-over at her friend Katie's house. I did mention she might benefit from the use of a pair of stout Wellington boots, but Beccy being Beccy, she naturally decided her sling-back shoes were perfectly adequate for the task ahead.

Twenty minutes later the silly kid came dripping back indoors, in dire need of a shower and a dry change of clothes. Second time around she left with a flat and far more comfortable set of shoes on her feet. I tried so very hard not to crow. Anyhows, I guess she was distracted then, running late as she was, and so it totally slipped her mind to slide the bolt on the garden gate as she left.

Now, Jake may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but he is not entirely stupid. He knows where his river is, and since I wasn't about to take him down there, seems he decided he might as well up and take himself off on his own. He's generally a good lad and never ventures far, in quieter times I have been known to allow him out for the odd solitary swim. He rarely stays long and always comes back safely. So when my youngest ran in to tell me Jake had slipped past the gate, I wasn't overly concerned. The front path up our drive is completely sealed off, there is no way he could find his way to danger.

It was about fifteen minutes later that I first heard his barking. When it continued, a little more urgent, I sensed something was up.

With only the mildest of curses, I reluctantly set off to haul him back. Once there, it only took seconds to fathom the problem. The stoooooopid, stoooopid mutt had only gone and swum himself over to the deepest part of the river, right by the edge of the bank. The bank at this point is far too steep for him to clamber up. He didn't have the sense to turn around and swim back the way he came, and he was now furiously doggy paddling for all he was worth. At first, knowing I couldn't reach him, I tried throwing some sticks farther out, in the hopes of encouraging him to turn around and swim back the way he had come. Not a chance, he was far too distressed. Lying flat on my tum, I scrambled down as far as I dared. Managing to hook a finger around his collar, I succeeded in grabbing enough hold to try to yank him up. Sadly, he is far too heavy for me to lift, and the wretched hound seemed to much prefer drowning over the offered prospect of slow strangulation. I gave up pulling and looked around. Such an isolated place, there was no help at hand. I held his collar as I tried to ponder what to do. Bear in mind, hubby is off doing his marshaling bit, and I have only my two youngest back at home.

A couple of years passed (okay, maybe it was a bit sooner than that), when little Abby came out to investigate where we had gone. I urgently told her to hot foot it over to Nutty Nora's next door, and tell her I needed some help. Give the kid her due, she had to climb over the garden wall to get there (did I mention the road was closed?), but get there she did. Unfortunately, what I hadn't banked on was that Nutty Nora first needed to fix her hair, apply some make-up, and dig out her long-lost water-proofs before setting out.. not to mention to fetch a step ladder in order to haul her considerable self over our way.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch..

I finally decided to give up waiting and jumped in to get him. Jake generously accepted my tow back to the other side of the river, and we both gratefully scrambled back up to Terra firma. Pausing briefly to recover our heart rate, we eventually turned for home, weary, wet and a little shaken, we were thankfully none the worse for our little adventure.

Mid-way up through the glen, whom should I spy but the very glam queen herself, our heroine, Nutty Nora. Great. Course, she just had to follow us all the way back to the house again. All I truly wanted was to shower and to change, the last thing I needed was to have her camped out in my kitchen for the next three hours.

No river jaunts for Jake anymore, you can bank on it (oops). And as for Beccy, she has a brand new set of good shoes of mine to replace, when I finally get my hands on her.

Hmph.

35 comments:

Scott from Oregon said...

Ahhh yes, the inevitable mental failings of a Golden....

They aren't happy all he time for no reason!

I was charged with babysitting three of the galloots once for a week.

It did my pitching arm good. All those tennis balls thrown down a long and falling drivway.

"Run you silly bastards, run!"

quilly said...

I am glad you are both none the worse for your adventure. I hope you are released from house arrest soon, rather then having to use the escape hatch.

Jay said...

LOLOLOLOL! Sorry to laugh, but I'm wiping tears, here (now that I know the lovely Jake survived his swim).

My brother in law had three golden retrievers. I swear, each one more stupid than the last! They're very sweet, but do seem a little light on the grey matter.

Nutty Nora! She didn't get that nickname for nothing, did she? Sorry .. still laughing. LOL!

Shrinky said...

Galloots? Oh Scott, I haven't used that expression in years - haha! That's what my dad used to call me - a lazy, good for nothing galloot! (He always said the sweetest of things.) And that's the funniest picture you've painted, them running down the drive and missing the ball - yup, that's my Jake..

Shrinky said...

quilly, it is only for four weeks a year, and only on alternate days. It's quite fun really. We have friends come to stay, it's a party atmosphere. These two weeks have flown by, not til August now for our next shut down.

Shrinky said...

Oh jay, don't even get me STARTED on Nutty Nora.. giggle. She could be a whole blog unto herself for me - I jest you not!

Yup, Jake is as thick as two short planks, but he does earn his dog food with all the love he gives.

Mushy said...

Ah, took a dip like me, did she?

My Lacey (my she rest in peace) once stepped off into the nearby creek and swam to where she couldn't get up a bank, similar to Jake. She was much too old to help herself out and "daddy dog" had to save her from drowning or a heart attack.

Hope the water was warm, my recent flop was into swift moving mountain water...quite a shocker!

Shrinky said...

Oh no Mushy, my river escapade pales into comparrason compared to the horrors of your adventure. I do hope you you suffered no lasting ill effects from the ordeal?

It's kind of comforting to hear you also had a similar experience regards your much loved pet. Things we do for love, eh? Smile.

Momma said...

Oh good grief! I think I would have hauled the dog up for a good throttling! :-)

You never fail to have adventures, do you? That's why you keep reeling us in! (DOH!)

Peace - D

The Future Was Yesterday said...

Having regretfully never met the participants, including the gorgeous Jake, it would not be prudent of me to pass judgment. I do note however, in the picture, his head IS turned as if to be advising a blonde.....

And I'm rarely prudent.:)

Allow me to try to reconstruct just a tad here.......

"if you balance your way over a slippery pile of boulders that straddles the river, then hike over the odd style and fence.....

but Beccy being Beccy, she naturally decided her sling-back shoes were perfectly adequate....

Twenty minutes later the silly kid came dripping back indoors.....

was that Nutty Nora first needed to fix her hair, apply some make-up.....fetch a step ladder in order to haul her considerable self over our way......

......Give the kid her due, she had to climb over the garden wall to get there"


Using my extremely slim powers of deduction, it would appear to me Jake set off on his ONE minor indiscretion, well armed with innumerable examples from those he trusts!

You ask me to give poor Ole Jake the verbal whack for wanting to go swimming when his Master wouldn't hike the slippery boulders, and jump the fence, to get to the river, with Jake in tow? I think not!:)

My fast fading powers also deduced Nutty Nora has the Perfect Neighbor...any inference deduced is purely intentional!:)

Had Jake been there, he would have tried to reason with this Blonde, I'm sure.:)

CHEWY said...

Shrinky,
Wet Dogs and Englishwomen. (chuckle) The beautiful photo is no doubt the "before". Open roads and chasing pebbles at the beach, soon.

Shrinky said...

Dan, hey - we're Brit's, we were born essentric, 'tis in our genes. (By the way, what's the address of that frog shop..?)

Shrinky said...

Chewy, are you calling me barking? I could get a little crabby, y'know!

Shrinky said...

Yeah momma, he is truly in my bad books this week, not that he cares. A lot of stuff does seem to happen with me at times, I keep promising myself one day I'll get my act together. Sigh.

Akelamalu said...

Crikey you saved the day and the dog! I remember when our dog decided to go for a walk on the frozen lake at our local park and the ice cracked so he fell in - that was a scary 10 minutes before we managed to coax him out.

Shrinky said...

akelamalu, oh my goodness, what a terrifying experience that must have been for everyone. So glad you were able to fish him out in time. These silly hounds have no idea of the things they do to us, huh?

CJ said...

Well I was glad to read everyone came out unscathed, except for the shoes perhaps. How did you end up getting Nora out of the kitchen in only three hours?

Shrinky said...

cj, I decided finally enough was enough! (Grin)

i beati said...

Wow I'd be so scared. My Tawny semi blind once fell in a deep canal and was drowning. To this day I don't know how I got her. Jake is a beauty
!!!

Les Becker said...

I am SO glad that didn't end badly... er... worse.

And I missed the TT again this year. Sigh...* You may have to come get me, Shrink. I can't seem to get away on my own...

Suldog said...

Well, you're heroic! Good job. I'm sure you have Jake's eternal gratitude (which, for a dog, probably means a day or so, but still nice.)

John-Michael said...

Very nice indeed!

CrazyCath said...

Awww poor Jake! Glad he got rescued. I bet he knew how to get out but just wanted to see if you would come and save him!

Shutting your drive off? Great! How on earth do you get to drive (no pun intended) anywhere? (I'm thinking shopping here).

I take it you decided NOT to assist hubby in the marshalling this year...? ;0)

david mcmahon said...

Vintage Shrinky.

Sole mates, no less!

Alex L said...

Haha... no such problems with cats... of course the dead animals strewn around the house are the down side there.

mrsnesbitt said...

Fantastic recollection!
Wilma, whilst blessed with good looks does not have a great brain! Bless!

We went round the course a couple of times....I did think of you and "waved" in my head to many of the houses.

The men in the white coats will be coming by later! LOL!

Daryl said...

Brilliant!

:-Daryl

polona said...

great stuff!

here from david's

pat houseworth said...

Airedales are middle to high when it comes to brain power...but sometimes a dense dog is a better pet.

All they need is food, petted, and a warm bed....they tend not to tax you much when trained well.

Casdok said...

I had to laugh, but it could have been worse!

Lin said...

Oh the things we do to rescue and remedy problems created by others. I'm sure you were looking forward to such an impromptu adventure. Never, ever a dull moment, is there? I adore dull moments though.

BRUNO said...

And I'm certain that river had VERY clean slime and goo to assist you in your "rescue-mission"!

How many showers, and bars of sweet-smelling soap did it take you to get back to a "normal" state of scent...?

Maalie said...

What a lovely story! Any fish in that stream?

Merisi said...

Mamma mia,
I can almost see you enjoying a few quiet days! :-)

ed said...

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