When we last left off, I was lamenting over my forced nightly paddleboard session with the dogs.
(I know… #FirstWorldProblems)
It was my first night escorting Scott on his evening swim via paddleboard. I set foot on the board while Scott delicately placed each of the girls between my feet. A few minutes later, we were 50 yards away from the dock.
That smile on my face didn’t last long. A few seconds after this photo was snapped, Jolie started whimpering. And really, I can’t even call it a whimper. It sounded more like the panicked gobble of a Thanksgiving turkey about to have its neck chopped off.
But my job was to protect Scott from oncoming water traffic. I did my best to paddle alongside him while also keeping the girls at bay. The gobbling only grew louder. Suddenly, Scott stopped mid backstroke.
“Katrina!” he hollered, “There’s poop on the paddleboard!”
At that instant, Jolie abandoned ship. Leaping from the paddleboard with all her might, she doggie paddled towards the middle of the lake. Clearly, she knew she was in trouble.
Scott returned Jolie to the board while splashing water to clean the affected area. I’ve never seen a little dog produce so much feces at once in my entire life–it must have been the fear.
“She’s not having fun, Scott.” I scolded.
“She’ll get used to it.” he shouted before returning to the most intense butterfly stroke our little lake has ever seen. Moments later, a jet ski cruised by. It was far enough away that it wasn’t a threat to Scott, but it did manage to send some pretty major waves across the previously glass-like water. The board started to teeter. I silently thanked myself for having the foresight to wear a swimsuit. A particularly large waved crashed against the nose of the paddleboard, spraying both dogs with water. Panic set in as 22 pounds of pup started running in circles around my ankles. Before I knew it, I was underwater.
(My first instinct was to grab the precious Ray-Bans I was wearing.)
(Don’t worry…my second instinct was to save the dogs. But they both know how to swim. The same can’t be said for my sunglasses.)
I wrapped my arms around Penny and held her to my chest as I treaded through the warm lake water. I scanned the surface for Jolie, but her rat-like, water bobbing head was nowhere in sight. My heart dropped into my stomach as I realized she may have been gobbled up by a giant muskie.
And then I heard it…the majestic bark I know so well, resounding from the top of the paddleboard. Somehow, Jolie had managed to keep her footing. She stood proudly centered on the plank, defiantly barking as if to say ‘I told you so’.
I just hate it when Jolie’s right.
The following evening Scott insisted we try again. We weren’t twenty yards from shore when Jolie leapt off the back of the board and started swimming furiously toward the dock.
It was the first of sixteen different jumps during our 45-minute jaunt on the lake.
There was also a second pooping incident. Unfortunately, Scott was engaged in a super focused breaststroke which rendered him unable to hear my frenzied cries of “Poop on the board! Poop on the board!”
Left with no other choice, I delicately scooped the droppings into the water using the blade of my paddle. Despite my best attempts, while I dutifully swapped the poop deck, the current carried Jolie’s little nuggets into Scott’s goggles while he swam directly behind me.
Once again, the super focused breaststroke kept him from actually realizing this.
(He’s sure in for a rude awakening once he reads this!)
Last night, we made one final attempt on the board. Third time’s a charm, right?
For obvious reasons, Jolie stayed back.
“Hey, Katrina” Scott asked as we lowered the board into the water. “Can I ride out on the paddleboard with you? Just until we get past the weeds here in the shallow part? They’re really gross to swim through.”
“I don’t know,” I responded hesitantly. “I feel like you’re going to knock me over as soon as you try to go into the water.”
“Nah, it’ll be fine.” he assured me confidently. “I’m going to sit criss-cross on the back of the board and then just slide off the back. I’ll be low to the water, so you’ll be fine.”
“Alright…if you’re sure.” I finally agreed.
I think you probably know what happened next.
(It should be noted that this time, I did not have the foresight to change into a swimsuit before heading out on the lake.)
Penny and I spent the next fifty-five minutes soaked and shivering in the night air as we paddled alongside my backstroking husband. Adding insult to injury, Penny urinated on my leg out of sheer terror.
The moral of this story? From now on, the girls and I will be bodyguarding Scott’s evening swims from the sturdy confines of a kayak.
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