“As the Lodge Turns” Episode 7: Waterlogged Beagle?!

On this episode of “As the Lodge Turns”…

I’ve checked under the table, both sides of the yard, barked as loud as I could, tried digging a hole in the turf, and still no sign of Lucy or Max!

Where could they be? Max doesn’t come every day, but Lucy has never missed a morning at the Lodge…

Looking at all the excited dogs tearing through the yard, I realize how much I’ve relied on Lucy to feel safe and comfortable among so many strangers. She’s always been there to put me at ease, but now I’m really on my own…

Wait a minute! What’s that?!

At first I think my eyes are fooling me, but as I walk closer to it I’m convinced otherwise. There, nestled in the grass, is a ball! Usually I prefer to play with Lucy, so I haven’t ever felt like playing with the toys at the Lodge. But here it is, tucked out of sight, waiting for me as if it knew I would be alone today…
Ball on turf
I bat at it with my paw and then drop into a play bow, tail wagging. I’m not sure what I expect the ball to do in response, but just poking at it with my nose is entertaining enough as it is!

As I’m about to pick it up with my mouth, a streak of pale gold shoots past me, like a flash of lightning!

What was that…?

Oh no! The ball is gone!!

The sound of a splash in the pool grabs my attention, and as I turn to look at the cause of the noise, I see it in the jaws of a golden retriever who’s paddling about in the water. I won’t surrender the ball that easily!
1F8A0350
Scurrying to the water’s edge, it dawns on me that I’ve never been anywhere near a pool this big; even puddles make my heart beat fast! I’ve heard other dogs say that beagles make terrible swimmers, and that only adds to my deep-rooted fear of being submerged…I won’t even be able to doggie paddle!
1F8A1053
I’m forced to negotiate with a nervous bark.

“Excuse me! Um…excuse me! EXCUSE ME!”

The golden retriever turns her head a little at last, but her hold on the ball remains firm as she swims.
1F8A0352
“I was actually playing with that ball you have, and you see, I wasn’t quite finished. So I would really appreciate it if you could give it back to –”

To my horror she deliberately drops the ball into the water!
Ball in water
“If you want the ball back so badly, then you’ll have to come and get it!” she says with a mischievous smirk.

I watch helplessly as the ball bobs around on the water’s surface, out of my reach. There’s no way I’m risking my life to retrieve a toy that’s not even mine to begin with…but…

To my surprise, luck seems to side with me; the ball drifts towards the edge of the pool, just beyond the reach of my paws, but maybe if I stretch out my neck and use my nose to stir up the water…

Just a little closer…a little closer…

When I think I can’t stretch my neck any more, I step even closer to the edge. In fact, I step off the edge entirely!

IMG_3164

All of my worst fears are realized as I take in mouthfuls of water, thrashing about wildly as I feel around for the bottom of the pool. My nails scrape against something, but the panic keeps me from thinking rationally. I’m completely disoriented…!

IMG_3168

I feel a dog’s jaws close gently around the scruff of my neck, the way my mother used to do when I was very little. Before I can make sense of what’s happening, I’m being pulled up, up, until I can scramble back up the side of the pool.

IMG_3186

I stand, shaking and soaked, struggling to clear my thoughts. One of the dogs must have saved me from drowning!

“Are you okay? The pool isn’t that deep and there are steps you could have used, you know,” says a familiar voice. “But you seemed pretty freaked out!”

1F8A0352

Sure enough, it’s the dog who stole my ball…!

…to be continued…