Hello and welcome back to the wonderful world of the Dogpound. I had an interesting morning today as I prepared to leave for work. I opened my garage door and the neighbor’s dog was down by the pond barking at something. The dogs seldom bark and usually only to announce the arrival of a car or if they spy some deer in the field. Whatever he was barking at was directed to the back of the yard which required me to step outside and look around the corner to see what had drawn his attention. I was looking for some deer but I couldn’t see anything in the field or along the wood line. I was about ready to go back and get in my car when I noticed an object just at the edge of the pond. I could not really tell what it was…first I thought it was one of those white trash bags…but there was some brown coloring too. Maybe a small deer? Maybe a cat lying in the grass waiting for a frog to pounce on? Could not tell anything from where I was standing, but I had to get to work..time was a wasting, and it was probably nothing anyway. Well, that nothing suddenly moved the part that was in the water. On my…something was down there…maybe stuck in the pond muck. So I scampered down the hill ignoring the fact that my pant legs were getting wet from the dew covered grass. As I got closer I could see it was a dog…half in half out of the water…actually a Saint Bernard. Yep...he was half in and half out and not going anywhere. I had no idea how long he had been there…but I knew I could not leave him there and the Animal Shelter did not open until 1 p.m. So I run back to the house to find my rubber boots that go up to my knees figuring I would have to step into the pond to get him out of the mud. I finally found them all the while wondering how I was going to get him out. Would he even let me get him out? Some animals don’t understand that you are just trying to help them. I grabbed a snow shovel...yes, a snow shovel…thinking that maybe I could get it under his legs and help lift him up enough to break the suction, and for good measure I grabbed some nylon rope, maybe I could somehow pull him out. So there I am early in the morning in my office clothes, wearing rubber knee boots, with a snow shovel in one hand and a piece of rope in the other. Good thing the neighbors were still asleep or they would have thought I had gone off the deep end for sure. Fortunately he got stuck in one of the few places around the pond that is fairly flat, and level which allowed me to kind of put one leg down in the pond while being anchor to the ground with the other. I found some solid footing and figured I would try the old muscle way first, hoping that the dead weight of the dog would not pull me into the pond with him. I talked to him like I do Max…explaining I was just there to help him and was not going to hurt him. I grabbed a big hunk of hair at the back of his neck and up under his chest and pulled. He came right up and I was able to swing him over to the edge of the bank in one single smooth move. He laid there for a minute and finally wobbled up to his feet. Despite being covered in mud and water he seemed to be unharmed, although exhausted from his ordeal. He did not have a collar on him so I do not know if he belonged to someone in the area [don’t remember seeing any Saint Bernard’s roaming the fields] or if he had been abandoned. Anyway as I left he had found a nice resting spot along the wood line and a safe distance from the pond. I was going to call the Animal Shelter when I came home for lunch, but my rescue dog was nowhere to be seen. I take it, hopefully, that this was a good sign that he was able to find his way home, where he got fed and a nice warm bath. I felt like one of those guys on Bay Watch running across the beach to save an errant swimmer…of course sans the snow shovel and rubber boots.
As always be good, play safe, and remember snow shovels can be used for more than snow removal.
JR and Max