Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Doug & the Mill Pond

This year, at the beginning of summer I decided I wanted, no, NEEDED a new kayak.  Not only did I need a new kayak, I needed a BIGGER kayak.  One that could fit some light camping gear.  One that had a longer bow so that Doug could have plenty of room to sit atop like commander of the craft.  I bought a 12 footer- which by the way, is 50 lbs of long awkward plastic that needs all kinds of maneuvering to get atop my car. I even had fancy new sun glasses my mom bought on QVC, because you know, if it's on QVC it's gotta be good.

I decided that the Mill Pond in Berlin would be great.  My dad used to take us there for fishing, frog catching, swimming, and just generally messing around.  I know there is a brook that feeds into it that wanders through some nice quiet parts of Berlin that I haven't seen in years.  I was super excited to visit my childhood and get some kayaking in.

We arrived early. The sun was out and it was beautiful.  I had packed us each some food and brought my camera and had it stored away in the fancy waterproof (not) compartment of my awesome new kayak.  Doug raced about on a sniff fest while I dropped the kayak on my head, tripped on the tie downs, and smacked my shin on the door jam.  It was a great beginning.  10 minutes later, packed up ready to go, kayak in the water, I call my copilot to the water's edge.  I should explain that we are launching off of a stone wall as there was no "beach" area.  Doug comes running only to screech to a halt about 10 feet from the edge where I am in the kayak ready to go.  And here is where the fun truly began.

Doug does not have many expressions on that squished little face, but this one was clear and it said something along the lines of, "Nope."  I called him.  I command him.  I cajoled him.  That squished up "nope" on his face did not change nor did the distance between us.  Sigh.  Ok.  I get out of the kayak without losing the paddle, having the kayak float away, or landing in the water.  Doug takes off like a shot.  Have you met Boston Terriers?  Those tiny little shit heads can run faster than a jackrabbit on crack!  And they have boundless energy.  This means they can keep up the just-out-of-your-reach game for days if need be. And every terrier truly seems to believe this is the best game EVER.

After about 10 minutes, a small part of my brain has begun to urge me to just find a baseball sized rock to throw and knock his ass out, load him up, and get a move on.  The geese that were on the far side of the pond have moved inward, clearly to get a better view of the live theater performance on the banks of their normally peaceful pond. Let's face it, it's not like they get a whole hell of a lot of excitement.  I squash down the evil urge to brain my dog and realize that given my superior intellect, I should be able to catch one stupid dog.  I sit on the wall and go about ignoring Doug.  Relieved, he decides this is a great time to sniff previously checked areas for possibly missed smells.   ........       sigh     ..........    Oooookay.  New tactic.

I successfully get back into the kayak and open the waterproof compartment where the food is.  I can see Doug keeping one of his googly eyes on me from a safe distance.  Back out of the kayak- please realize what an amazing feat this is when the person getting in and out is as graceful as a drunk orangutang missing one arm- I cleverly sit on the stone wall and begin to "eat" some dog treats.  The temptation is too much and I manage to catch me a wiggling 20 lb terrier.  Score one for the human. 

I carefully, gently, toss/drop him into the kayak, gather the food, and get one foot onboard when unsurprisingly, it all goes to hell.  As Doug moves around, the kayak begins to drift away from the wall.  I must now decide, and quickly, in or out.  I go for in.  Both feet in and wobbling but I make it!  The next few seconds happen so fast I had to piece it together later.  It seems just as I got my balance and prepared to sit, I realized dumb ass (sorry, I mean Doug) is cowering directly where my fat rump needs to land.  I turn to move him, still trying not to fall out of the increasingly wobbly kayak, and the very next thing I remember is being face first in the water.

Here is where I discover several things:
One: I can stand up and the water is only about knee deep.
Two: 2/3 of the "water" is pure black disgusting muck and it is EVERYWHERE that is me.
Three: The kayak is about 6 feet away and drifting.
Four: Apparently terriers can jump long distances because Doug is on the bank not two feet away, bone dry, staring at me with his head cocked to the side as if to say, "What are you doing?"

I must admit, at that point, with his goofy face level to mine while I drip muck, I had to admire his agility and I couldn't help laughing and thus causing further crinkling of Doug's already ridiculous looking face.  Since I am well and truly anchored in the muck, I am very very grateful that the paddle is floating next to me so I can retrieve the kayak.

The geese have decided this is better viewed from a distance and in fact have now been joined by some ducks, who I am convinced are having one hell of a birdy chuckle over the whole thing.  Now I understand why hunting season exists.  Bastards.  Given the length of this story, I am going to leave it here.  But be assured, I did get Doug in the kayak, there were a few more mishaps and it wasn't until much later that night I realized that my fancy QVC sunglasses now reside somewhere in the Berlin Mill Pond but all in all, a good day was had.

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