Wimzie comes with me every morning to drive my husband to work. She moves fluidly from seat to seat in the passenger area of the van while we're en route, but on the way back home, she rides shotgun, her head nobly poised out the window, all fourteen pounds of her a-quiver with excitement.
Today was slightly different than most days, because I hung around the dealership until 9:30am. My intention was to go to McDonald's to bring back breakfast for whatever salesmen wished to pitch in and also get a little something for myself, like a crispy-delicious hash brown and a Diet Coke.
To pass the time, I had brought my book, but my eye was attracted by the ornamental man-made pond that stands on the south-east edge of the dealership's property. It's of a biggish size and beautifully landscaped and it looked like a pleasant place to allow Wimzie to go off-leash. I did check beforehand to make sure there were no Canada geese hanging around, smoking cigarettes and drinking Boone's Farm wine out of paper-bagged bottles. Those things are mean and always looking for trouble.
I didn't see any geese, because they were all apparently still sleeping off whatever they did last night. But I also failed to see a family of mallard ducks -- perhaps the same mama and ducklings we saw a couple of weeks ago -- that were camouflaged against the muddy brown banks of the pond.
(Don't worry -- this story doesn't get end with a family of ducks getting eaten by my Jack Russell terrier. It just looks that way right now.)
I found a parking space and Wimzie and I got out and began walking around the pond. It was just a gorgeous, lovely morning. I was looking at the different shrubs and flowers and wondering what they were, other than pretty (I am not a horticulturist by any stretch of the imagination) and Wimzie was happily sniffing the scent of Ducks from Ages Past.
And that was when we came upon the Ducks of Present Day. They'd left the muddy bank and had gone for a swim and there they were out there in the middle of the pond, which was right where Wimzie went in hot pursuit.
She paused for one brief moment, one paw lifted in a perfect point, and then she shot down the grassy verge and across the muddy bank and into the water before I could cry out, "Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!"
On seeing Susie's dog, Summer, swim around the pool last Saturday, I'd been wondering if Wimzie could swim. Jack Russells are hunting dogs, so I figured it would probably come instinctively to her if she ever had the chance to be over her head in water, and boyoboy, was I ever right.
She swam with grim purpose for the duck family, who either didn't see her or perceived that she could pose no possible threat: after all, Mama Mallard was a water fowl and in her element, while Wimzie was a land animal and outnumbered. I figured I was getting ready to see a smackdown (splashdown?) of major proportions as Wimzie zipped across the pond, leaving a wake behind her worthy of a bass boat at full throttle.
It took me a moment to find my voice. I feebly yelped "Wimzie!" a few times, but as she neared the middle of the pond, where a lovely fountain was merrily spraying twinkling water up into the morning sunlight, I finally swallowed down the heart-shaped lump in my throat and shrieked, "Wiiiiiiiiim-ziiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!"
Wimzie didn't stop swimming, but looked over her left shoulder at my frantic figure jumping up and down on the bank, and actually decided to obey me for once in her life. She executed a neat U-turn and swam back to shore, climbing out and showering me with a generous, full-body shake of silty, stinky water. She looked enormously pleased with herself, and trotted back to the van with ears perked and her stub of a tail held high.
Could someone please pass the digitalis?
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