Night Swimming

19 Jun

Things go on at night around my house when I am sleeping.

My significant other is a night owl, I am a morning person.

Yes–we have a mixed marriage. We’ve adjusted.

Saturday night/early Sunday morning, the dog began to bark.

Or so I am told–I was asleep and I slept right through her barking, even though we were in the same room at the time.

There was nothing mysterious about the bark. She didn’t hear things that go bump in the night and express alarm–this was her, “Get your ass up and take me for a walk!” bark. She has been with us nearly a year, so we know her barks by now.

Domino doesn’t bark a lot. She never barks when she encounters other dogs and she doesn’t bark when someone comes to the door. She doesn’t bark at strangers on the street. She barks at us–the two men she lives with. I am telling you, that dog is talking to us. Since she seems to get what she wants most of the time, I’d say she has done a fine job of training us.

My significant other was still awake, so he put Domino on her leash and took her out for a full night tour of the neighborhood.

A few hours later, I woke up. My significant other was in bed next to me. He was reading, so the light was on. “You want to hear what I’ve been doing for the past couple of hours?” he said. “Where’s the dog?” I asked. “I locked her out.”

Uh oh. There’s a story here, I thought. And then he told me.

Ray and Domino walked down the road a piece. Ray stopped to look at a plant or something. In this moment of distraction, Domino wandered off a bit. Ray didn’t even realize the leash was no longer in his hand. He called her name. She did not come. He called her more firmly. Domino decided she wanted to explore. She ran behind the building where Ray was currently standing. He followed as quickly as he could.  Ray is old and the dog is spry. Plus, she has four legs, which gives her a decided advantage.

Behind the building was a large retention pond. Domino has shown reluctance to enter bodies of water during the year we’ve had her. She only goes in so far and then stops. This was one of those moments. Ray thinks she saw some water fowl. She was about doggy-hip deep in the water, looking toward the middle of the pond. Her leash trailed along behind her.

Ray seized the opportunity by bending over and seizing the leash. It was at this moment that Domino decided she wanted to be a bit more daring in her aquatic adventures. She lunged forward, pulling the man with the leash into the retention pond.

Ray attempted to scramble out of the retention pond, but the bank was slippery with mud. He slipped and fell back into the pond, backwards, and found himself submerged.

Eventually, after much flailing and splashing, Ray made his way out of the pond and coaxed Domino to do the same. Ray came home–locked the wet dog away so she couldn’t jump on our bed soaking wet–took a shower and…that is when I woke up to listen to this astounding story.

Every now and then, there is a news story about a body found floating in a retention pond. There is no evidence of foul play, and it is unclear why this person drowned in a relatively shallow, calm body of water.  I always wonder what ridiculous, but terrible twist of fate could cause such a thing to happen.

Now I know. I told Ray he could have been one of those news stories. I could have gotten up on Sunday morning, wondering where in the heck Ray and the dog were. I’d have opened my front door, to find the dog waiting there with her leash trailing behind her. Domino would have directed a few sharp barks at me.

“What’s that, Domino? Daddy’s in the retention pond?!”

Actually, I can’t really translate her barks that specifically. I’d have been mystified—worried sick, but mystified, until the authorities  found Ray floating. Another mysterious retention pond related death.

“I can’t leave the two of you alone for one minute!” I admonished Ray.

Then I rolled over and went back to sleep.

Pets and spouses, spouses and pets. No wonder I have gray hair.

Happy Tuesday.

2 Responses to “Night Swimming”

  1. Pamela N Red June 19, 2012 at 9:05 am #

    I would guess a good number of those bodied found in shallow water were drunk or high, passed out and fell in.

  2. Mary Atwood June 20, 2012 at 3:06 pm #

    Years ago, when I was young and foolish, I used to go swimming in a local borrow pit with friends. It is a wonder that none of us made the dealines considering………well, never mind.

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