Monday, April 4, 2011

and how was YOUR weekend?

We did fine. Had a lovely weekend right up until Sunday afternoon when Jake, the 120 pound lab/great dane mix when out for a walk and fell in the pond. Now, we don't let our dogs "roam" in the true sense of the word. But with nine acres we do give them a larger sense of freedom than they are used to. When we lived on Long Island, it was leashes all the time. That was what they were used to. Since we've lived here full time, they have gradually been given a little more rope to go out, do their business, explore a little, and come back. We are aware of their proximity all the time, and they are with us in the house most of the time, except for Bailey, who lays in the sun on the porch. He is a dog who is used to roaming within a close promixity and coming back quicky. When Jake hadn't come right back (ten minutes or so?) Allison went out to see where he was. Looking left from the porch she saw Jake, laying by the side of the pond, with his hind quarters in the pond. He was stuck. Screaming to me, she and I ran outside to the far side of the pond where Jake was laying. Jake's arthritis is so bad that on occasion his back legs will give out, and he has to be lifted up. On solid ground, this is a task that only Jerry can really do. He's just too heavy. With half his body in freezing cold water, it was near impossible for Allison and I. But we tried. Pushing and pulling it took us about five minutes to get Jake up the side a little, but he was still dragging into the pond. He was no help at all. At that point, Allison called Jerry who was in town and told him he had to come and help us. Allison got a quilt and a towel from inside the house, and I had laid Jake alongside my legs and body so I could give him a little warmth. He was in what looked like shock. Allie and I were sobbing and crying as we pushed and pulled and tried to get him fully out of the water. The pond has a bottom of mud and muck, and trying to get a good footing is impossible. Everytime I stepped onto the bottom at the shoreline, I would sink further in. He was just laying there and looking at me with his sad blue eyes, which were glazed over like I had never seen before. We finally both grabbed under his front legs, at the elbow, and we were able to get him fully out of the water. We all laid and sat at the shoreline of the pond, catching our breath, talking to Jake and each other, and waiting for Jerry. All the while this had been going on, a good twenty minutes, Bailey had been circling around us at a distance. Now, Bailey and Jake go outside together sometimes, and that has always proven to be a bad idea. Bailey is in his prime. He can jump and hop over the snowbanks as though he is a nymph, and Jake tries to follow. We have to carry Jake and assist him up the front porch stairs, but sometimes when you look off into the distance you can see Jake trying to follow Bailey up the mountain. It's never been a good plan. Now I'm not blaming Bailey for Jake falling into the pond. I didn't see it happen and I don't like to place blame. But as far as passing the Lassie test, Bailey had failed miserably. Timmy fell in the well, and Bailey went right along on his merry way. He didn't try and alert us, he wasn't any help, and he was now laying in the sun on the porch as though nothing had happened. I had thought he would be a better emergency type dog. Wrong. Jerry came home, he lifted Jake up and set him on his feet squarely, and with a couple of shakes and wobbles, Jake went across the driveway and continued to "Mark his territory" if you know what I mean. He didn't appear any worse for wear, and he came inside with us when we went in. We had a lovely dinner together and spent what was, all in all, a beautiful Sunday. Except for the pond incident. Except for that.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

OHHH, that's so SAD! *crying for Jake*
I had a cat with arthritis, and I always felt fortunate that he was small enough for me to carry, if he didn't seem to feel like walking.
I'm glad Jake was none the worse for wear.
I'm a new follower, thanks to the A to Z challenge.