Archie is known as the ‘Flying Squirrel’ due to his terrifying habit of leaping off tall buildings in a single bound; and furniture and grooming tables and tailgates. You get the picture. He labors under the illusion that if he builds up enough momentum before he leaps off the edge of tall objects, gravity won’t matter and he will surely be able to fly. I’ve explained to him how I jumped off the garage at age 7 while being similarly deluded. Apparently breaking bones and laying on the ground like a squashed bug had no effect on Archie; he insists on attempting to defy gravity. I’ve given in the inevitable an built him a special bungee leash and a crash helmet. The helmet is particularly useful as the bungee leash has an added bonus of flinging him backwards over my shoulder at mach speed, crashing into ceilings, trees, porch overhangs-again you get the picture. Of course a dog wearing a helmet has earned him some other politically INCORRECT nicknames that we can’t mention. Anyway, despite my little Archie’s heroic attempts at being a trapeze artist, he refuses to swim. That’s right, Weezie-the swimming “wonderdog’s” puppy will NOT swim. This is so embarrassing. I can’t have a truck dog that won’t swim—it’s un-American!!! I build wetlands and things for a living for crying out loud!!! This just won’t do. I’ve been patient, I’ve played, I’ve coerced, I’ve bribed, I’ve waded in the water, I even dropped him off the dock(he can swim, really fast when he wants to)—all to no avail. Archie runs the shore barking at the SWIMMING dogs and eating mud. Nope, this just won’t do.
This is the story of Archie, my year old Russell Terrier
So last night I had a brainstorm, of course this ends bad!!!—I did say I had a brainstorm. I decided that I would take Archie’s all-time favorite toy and throw it in the pond. I would wade into the water and help if he needed it. But surely he would go in the water for his Foo Foo mouse. Archie’s Foo Foo mouse is a rabbit fur covered plastic squeaky mouse shaped and sized toy. I use it in the foo foo ring to keep Archie’s attention. Archie is Laser Focus Puppy when the Foo Foo mouse is out of its cage. NOTHING else in the world exists but this mouse. He once stood for an entire day at my closet door after I put the mouse up. I had to bring him food and water. It was pathetic. Picture him standing at the door in his helmet, whining all day long. Yep our little short bus man—good thing he is so cute!
Off we went, Archie and I, down to the pond. Just the two of us. I was decked out in jeans, tshirt and the husbands crocs—I borrowed them since I don’t have any shoes that are pond muck worthy. Archie was beside himself in excitement. OH BOY THE MOUSE!!! When we got down to the sand beach area, with a nice gradual slope into the water, I waded out into the water up to my knees. Archie stood on the shore in horror. I had his mouse hostage and he knew what was coming next. I dropped it right next to me and called him in the water. After a few minutes crying, he finally came into the water up to his tippy toes and snatched the mouse out of the water, paddle/running back to shore. I went after him and took the mouse, telling him what a good boy he was and how this was no big deal. He stood in the water up to his belly watching as I went back out to my spot. This time I threw the mouse about 5’ away in deeper water. Archie started after the mouse and I turned to look at the mouse when it happened. A HUGE BASS came out of nowhere and looking like a cousin to JAWS- ATE the mouse!!! I screeched like a girl and fell over backwards into the pond as Archie did his best impression of an Indy car racing 200 mph up the hill back to the house. There I sat in the muddy water watching my terrier turn into a small white dot and disappear over the hill. About that time I realized I was missing a croc, it was quietly floating away and on the wind I swear I heard the chorus to Born Free.
And that’s the story about how Archie became a land dweller.
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