Friday, September 21, 2007

The Return of Swamp Dog!

Well, haven't had much to write about lately. No, wait, strike that. There's been so much going on that I haven't had time to write anything lately. Really, it's been nuts around here. The kids are back in school, Les is still working out of the house three days a week plus her Regent Theatre commitments keep her hopping. I'm now working 5 days with a local barn renovation crew. (The locals probably know which locals I'm talking about) The gallery is still open weekends and the occasional weekday. Plus life in general and all it's bits and pieces and comings and goings and goings on. Sheesh.

Well I've managed to get a few days off from my 'day job' to spend at home and work on my 'main job'. It was quiet today, and Les decided to open the gallery to pick up some early birds scratching around for this weekends Studio Tour. We were down there talking to some friends as a few people perused the bits in the barn. An older gentleman was petting Belle (who loves the attention she gets from people down there) We had a nice chat with the parents of a new friend of Leah's when I looked over to the dog, and my jaw dropped. There was enough fur around her and the poor gent for 5-6 dogs. He was shaking his hands in the air trying to get the fluffy stuff off, effectively making what appeared to be an ethereal, ghost like Belle twisting and floating in the gentle late summer breeze. He kind of forced a smile and suggested that the dog might be in need of a good brushing. I said something like 'yeah, she might at that...he-heh...' Then he waded his way out of the fur and off to the Cheese Factory. Les commented later that the left over fur on the ground looked like Baxter our cat had his way with the better part of the population of small critters in the County. Another good reason for me to brake out the rakes for this seasons yard cleaning marathon.

So, later in the day while enjoying a nice drink on the deck, I decided I should take a few moments and give Belle a thorough brushing. After pulling out what seemed like endless melon sized balls of fur I called it quits for a while, vowing to get back to it at lest once more this weekend. Les and I had dinner on the deck, with Belle, stimulated by the brushing snarfled after who knows what around the yard. As Les and I talked we'd occasionally check with each other if dog was in sight. I had taken her collar off to brush her, and she doesn't seem to understand the boundaries of our property. In less vigilant times we've spotted her wandering around on the other side of the road, or wading in the black ooze they've lovingly named 'Black Crik'. Well sure enough as the minutes ticked by we lost site of her for just a bit too long, and it occurred to me that if she had wandered into the river, it may be tough for her to get out. The river is about two feet lower than normal. and the shoreline is some serious muck. We raced down and sure enough, there she was, up to her shoulders in black, tarry, STINKY, bog-like mud.

She was labouring hard without getting very far, so I ran back to the house to get my boots and help her out. I grabbed a stick that would connect Les and I, just for some leverage really, I wasn't going into the water, just some shallow mud. I reached down and grabbed her, and got her out without too much trouble or yelping. We then played duck and cover as she continually tried to shake it off. while she walked back up the house, she made this gurgling kind of bubbling popping sound. That'll give you an idea of how much muck was stuck to her....

Les had the smarts to suggest taking her across the road to the public boat launch to wash her off rather than using up our precious well water. It took some coaxing to get her into that water, she did not want to go back in there. But this area is relatively clear and gravelly, so once she was in, she realized that she was safe, and after scrubbing her down a bit she swam around in circles till we eventually coaxed her out again. I've now manages to rinse her with the hose, and tonight she'll begrudgingly sleep in my studio, so as not to stink up the house, or breath more life into that hideous upstairs carpet.

Too bad I didn't have the camera handy to show you her 'black and tan' look, but here's one of her looking pretty miserable after her 'bath'.