Get The Dog First!

This is another skiing story, and for you Wes fans out there, he’s the co-star. Number one billing has to go to our little dog, Dockers, though, and you will soon understand why.

This incident unfolded one hot summer day in 2002 on Lake Travis; we lived in a community on the lake for nine years up until 2009, when Sherry’s career took us to new places. We’d bought a used boat when we moved to Spicewood Beach, but hadn’t got to use it much due to 2001 being a drought year and the lake being drastically low. But the rains came in the spring of 2002, and when it got warm enough, a-skiing we did go!

One beautifully hot day, we had the boat out, and Wes, a few friends, me, Sherry, and Dockers were enjoying some skiing and swimming on the lake. Wes was taking his turn on the skis, and while he was skiing, Dockers stood on the back seat with her front feet on the back of the boat, barking her fool head off at Wes. This was the first time she’d ever done that, and we were all laughing at her, as she yipped and barked, seemingly demanding that Wes get his butt back in the boat.

Wes soon took a tumble, and when the spotter yelled, “He’s down,” I yanked back on the accelerator handle and the boat—as they will do—came to an almost immediate stop. The yapper at the back went flying into the lake!

When a skier falls, it is common practice—a safety precaution—to get back to him immediately, to make sure he isn’t hurt or otherwise in need of assistance. So, naturally, when Sherry saw what had happened, she yelled, “Get the dog first!”

I whipped the boat around and sped immediately to where Dockers was floundering and splashing hysterically, in what appeared to be an almost successful attempt to walk on water. One of the guys scooped her into the boat, and after shaking the bulk of the water off, she glared at me like I was the worst driver in the history of boating.

Everyone was laughing at her and cooing over the poor little dog and her unfortunate dive into the lake, when a voice from about fifty yards away said, “Excuse me! Man down over here!” All heads in the boat popped up and looked toward the bobbing figure in the water then we all started laughing. The guy who’d been the spotter while Wes was skiing said, “Oh yeah, He’s down!” We all laughed even louder, as I turned the boat and glided over to where a disgusted Wes was treading water.

As he climbed into the boat, Wes said, “Well, I see where I rate in this group; below the darn dog!”

I said, “But, Wes, you had a life jacket, and you can swim. Poor little Dockers had no life jacket, and can’t swim that well.”

Sherry chimed in. “And she was scared, Wes!”

Wes was not to be consoled, nor was he amused when Dockers turned and began barking in earnest at him again. She appeared to be letting him know that, yes, she was definitely the one that should be rescued first.

Wes looked at her, still wearing a quite disgusted look, and said, “Shut the hell up, dog.” Some people just don’t have a way with animals.

3 Comments »

  1. Sherry Mashburn said

    Dockers never liked to ride in the boat after that!

  2. Sherry Mashburn said

    and I don’t think she appreciates being called a “yapper” either!!!

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