Monday, June 16, 2003

Finally, a nice weather weekend, and we opened the pool! The water is very murky, and there were quite a few leaves to scoop out. I didn't relish the idea of getting in that mess, but wound up jumping right in on Saturday without giving it a thought. We have a new fence in S'ville that surrounds the deck and half of the pool. This is the largest area the dogs have ever had, and this weekend was the first time they have been in the new area. The pool has a new deck platform, which replaced a rickety plastic ladder. We haven't bolted down the ladder half that goes in the pool yet, and before Saturday, it was still in the shed. From the deck to the pool there is a boardwalk.

Rather than exploring the yard, both dogs and the cat are most interested in going from the deck to the boardwalk to the steps and platform near the pool. Sniffing around in the grass? Why? I resolved to splash the cat when she comes near the pool, since it would be awful if she fell in, plus she might try to escape the yard by jumping on the edge of the pool and slipping around the fence, but I wasn't too worried about the dogs. I thought Rudy might be brave enough to jump in eventually, but doubted Sophie would have that much nerve. And, I never figured that they would want to go up on the platform unless we were up there, or in the pool. I was inside the house, changing into my bathing suit, trying to get psyched to get in the very green and debris-filled water, and Bob was retrieving the ladder from the shed. Suddenly I heard Bob yell, "Sophie's in the pool!" I ran outside, and saw Rudy standing on the platform. I could hear splashing.

I know dogs can swim, but you must visualize Sophie. Her body is long and enormous, her legs are ridiculously short, and her paws are tremendous.(You can see her picture here.) I ran up the steps and jumped into the disgusting water without thinking about the slime, or even noticing whether the water was cold. At first I couldn't tell if she was struggling - the cover was not tied down but it was still floating in the pool and I thought she might be tangled up in the cables. But then I saw, with relief, that she was fine - she was swimming with no problem, her head was bobbing above the water, those long ears and her face looked very serious. She did not come directly to me when I called her, but instead swam to the other side. In a flash, Bob was in the pool too, he scooped her up, and heaved her up on the deck. After all, she is Bob's baby.

At that moment, we both realized we had no way to get out of the pool. Bob boosted me and I managed to scramble on the deck, and eventually I located the ladder, unscrewed the two halves, and carted it to the pool, so Bob could get out too. We aren't sure whether Sophie fell or if she jumped, but she does not seem scared, and the animals are still way too interested in the pool platform. Eventually we barricaded the bottom of the steps with a wooden skid, and decided we will need to get a gate.

Friday night we went to see the Wizard of Oz at the New York State Theatre Institute. It was a good show, the closing night of the performance and of the season. Of course, there were many kids there, and some were too little to stay engaged so late at night. Looking around the audience, we decided we could almost be mistaken for the grandparents!

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