Saturday, November 24, 2007

Waterspouts in the Back Yard

Sailor here.

We had what Mom called another Zoe plumbing disaster in the backyard. It was cool! Zoe entertained me for a long time, I didn’t get wet or muddy, and only Zoe got in trouble.

I’m not exactly sure what happened except to say it all started when Mom’s daughter came to visit. Katy wanted to relax in our sunny yard, study her Italian and watch the doggies play while Mom was at work. She opened the gate to the dog run and Zoe and I darted into the back yard. I tried to beat Zoe to the lawn, but she was too fast for me.

“Can’t catch me, can’t catch me,” Zoe yipped to me. She leaped off the deck without taking the stairs.

“Can so,” I lied, following her across the patio. I liked to tease her and challenge her alpha status at times.

Zoe poked me with her nose and play bowed. “Chase me!” she yelped.

We flew over the lawn and through the bushes when one of us, I can’t say just who, banged into what Mom calls the hose bib. Actually, this was a pipe that stuck up from the ground and was attached to the hose that watered the tomatoes. (I was forbidden to water the tomatoes myself.)

The pipe fell onto its side, landing on the dirt with a small thump. With a WHOOSH and a SPLASH, a geyser the height of twenty Leonbergers sprang up from the ground.

I was agog.

Zoe was overjoyed and immediately began to dig the foaming mud. She flung water every which way and I barely managed to avoid getting wet. Zoe’s little white paws became little black paws, her white belly turned the color of a rainy day, and her head disappeared into the geyser hole. She was soaked.

“Come on, Sailor, help me dig for gophers,” Zoe panted. “This is really fun!”

“No, I don’t think so,” I said, dodging a faceful of muddy water. Something told me that Zoe was now deep in mud and deeper in trouble.

Katy, reading in Italian, heard the commotion and glanced up with a surprised look on her face. Her eyes widened in horror. She cried out rude Italian words. I was thrilled. Wringing her hands, Katy ran to the scene of the crime.

“Ack, Zoe, noooo!” was all I heard her say in English.

In no time, the tomatoes were flooded. Zoe kept digging. The geyser kept spouting.

Katy grabbed Zoe by her collar and splashed her into the dog run for safekeeping. She then ran around the corner of the house toward the street. I found a spot of dry land and sat down. I wondered what would happen next.

The geyser stopped spouting. The water soaked into the ground.

Katy returned to the backyard and mumbled to me, “Don’t worry, Sailor. I turned the water off completely. Stay here and don’t let Zoe escape while I call the plumber." Then she ran into the house.

I stood guard outside the dog run, thinking about the water in our house.

“Does this mean that my water bowl will be empty?” I asked Zoe through the fence.

“Nah,” said Zoe. “Mom always makes sure we have what we need.”

A short while later, a man in overalls smelling like plastic and rust came whistling into our garden. I woofed in greeting, trotted up and booped him with my nose.

I know Roger very well. He always saves us from our plumbing disasters. He is my friend, even though he doesn’t have any cookies in his pockets.

Roger waved a piece of plastic pipe in greeting and walked to the tomato patch. He carried a shovel and something Mom calls a monkey wrench. I sat by Roger’s side, drooling a little and sniffing his pockets. I have never given up the hope that he would decide to bring me cookies.

“Well, Zoe did a great job of excavating the pipe,” Roger told Katy with a laugh. “She’s made part of my job easier.”

Katy smiled while Roger worked. Finally, the hose bib was fixed. Roger gave me a pat, getting my head a bit muddy. Katy walked to the front of the house to turn on the water and Roger drove off in his blue truck with a laugh and a wave.

For the next few hours, every time anyone turned on a new faucet in the house, the water made loud Hiss Spit noises. But my water bowl was filled with new water, and Zoe was rinsed off and got out of jail. We both curled up to take a nap by the back door.

When Mom came home, Katy entertained her with the afternoon’s adventures. Mom says that all’s well that ends well, and that was certainly the end to our well.

I think Zoe will be going to the Dog Wash this weekend.

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