Monday, September 15, 2008

Oh Shit

The title pretty much sums up my weekend. There was animal related drama all the time. From escaping cows (yes, I have cows now. Pregnant cows even. Pray for them, cuz if they get out again, they are going to the butcher), to barn cats in the house, on the kitchen counter, to the neighbors eighty bazillion dogs (no, I'm not exaggerating) barking at 3 am right outside my bedroom while chasing the neighbors thirty bazillion horses, who are very loud running at 3 am.

But the worst animal drama involved my beloved Penny. She's fine now, but I have several more grey hairs than I had yesterday morning. Brad was working on our septic system, replacing a pipe that had broken. He'd had the ditch open all weekend. When we came home from Missoula to find Prim the barn cat on the kitchen counter, we decided that closing her entry point (the window the swamp cooler sits in) was a good idea.

So Brad is emptying the swamp cooler, and I'm goofing around with the dogs, looking at my sunflower garden, and just putzing. I hear splashing. We do not have a pool. Keon is right behind me, so I start looking for Penny, because normally she does not like to get in the water, much less splash as energetically as I was hearing. Plus, there is no standing water for her to get into. I head over to the ditch Brad has open, thinking maybe she is goofing in the sewer water. No Penny. It's then that I realize not only has Brad opened a ditch, HE'S TAKEN THE COVER OFF THE SEPTIC TANK, AND PENNY HAS FALLEN IN!!!!!!!

My heart stopped. All I could do was fall to my knees and scream for Brad. Thank all that is holy that Penny had gotten one leg caught on a wire, and had not fallen all the way in the septic tank. She's looking at me with her big brown eyes, and I'm freaking out. Then Brad was there, grabbed her leg, and hauled her out. She was smelly (oh heavens, she was rank!), but unhurt.

All I could do was put my head on the ground and try to breath. Brad wasn't in much better shape, the poor man was white as a ghost. The cover immediately went back on the septic tank, and Penny went in the house for two very thorough baths. She smells like flowers now, thank you very much.

I love Penny dog more than is natural. I saved her from a hellish start in her life, rescued her from an abusive situation (verbal as well as physical. I hates people.), and she has repaid me a thousand times over with unconditional, unwavering love. She is my shadow, my velcro dog. She sleeps with me when Brad is not home, and cuddles with me on the couch when I'm watching TV. Her warm weight beside me is better than any sedative known to womankind. The only time I am not foremost in her heart is when it is bird season. And, as she is after all a bird dog, I do not begrudge being second in her heart three months out of the year. This was not Penny's first brush with disaster. She has been stitched up by my next door neighbor (a surgical nurse), our vet, and even Brad. She was lost for two days when a thunderstorm scared the holy crap out of her. I was out of my mind for those two days. The joy and relief I felt when she found her way home was unbelievable. Penny also has epilepsy, although we have been fortunate to be able to control her seizures with diet, rather than put her on medication.

I'm glad the weekend is over. I'm so glad my girl is safe and sound. And you can bet your bippy that Brad will be making sure the septic tank cover is ALWAYS on. We do learn from our close calls. Go hug your dog, cat, hamster, or whoever makes your life more bearable. Shit happens fast.

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