Sunday, January 17, 2010

basset bitches and the brambleberry bush






they got out. the girls. breached my almost nearly not quite impenetrable fence. escaped to freedom. i don't get why they want to escape. there's nothing out there that's gonna taste any better then the beneful premium they get fed twice daily when they're safe within the confines of friendly nixdom. but they're basset hounds. and, they're female. and take it from one who's spent a good deal of time around bassets and an even gooder bit of time around females, they're totally unpredictable. apt at any moment to go sailing off on a whim.



so they got out yesterday. mid afternoon. just as we'd gotten back from the sojourn to wally world. unloaded. put away. and just as i was settling into the recliner to relax and watch the second half of the vikings game. not a big football fan, but looking forward to watching this game. favre makes an interesting story. like to see him do well to silence all the critics. and more than i'm a favre fan, i'm an anti-cowboy fan. dates back to tom landry. roger staubach. exacerbated by t.o. with apologies to one of my two favorite nephew-in-laws and my son-in-law, i detest the cowboys. and i know that the vikings and favre are winning, so i'm ready to settle and watch the cowboys bleed.



but before reclining in my recliner i peeked out the patio door. and there, past the back yard. across the outback (if you've read anything i've written here you're well familiar with the outback), and among the skeletal remains of what were, back in summer time, shrubs, bushes, trees, i see two white-tipped tails. basset tails. female basset tails. namely, trixie and petunia.



i hollered at hon to grab some leashes and i raced across the yard to catch the bitches (it's ok to call them that, they are, after all, female dogs) (oh, but don't tell them, as we're not sure they understand they're dogs) before they get down into the creek area. sadly i was too late to keep them from fording crap creek. (named for its smell, not a pretty one.)



by the time i got creekside the girls had already scaled the bank on the far side. not too far ahead of me. but bassets are rather short critters. they can roam through the underbrush under where the brush is. below the branching out branches of the bushes and small trees. i'm taller than that. i have to fight my way thru the dead vegetation. my progress is slowed accordingly.



i reached crap creek just moments after their crossing. in short order i found a rather formidable branch/log, down and spanning the creek. i stepped on it gingerly, it seemed substantial, i decided to try to balance-beam it across it. but as a safety measure i also grabbed the overhanging branch above which pretty much spanned the creek as well.



at about step number two i heard a bit of a cracking sound. my first thought was something analogous to "uh oh". but not quite "uh oh". and before i could take any evasive action at all, my left foot plunged down thru the now broken fallen branch/log and into the brackish - i wanna say water, but can't be sure - of crap creek. ok, a wet foot. wet ankle. wet calf. but not so bad. onward. but . . . another cracking sound? yep. and i didn't have time to formulate many thoughts as the branch overhead broke loose, smacked me in the head, and floated with me down into the very essence of crap creek. i hit, i guess, on some sort of uneven surface, as i quickly lost my balance and found myself lying on my left side. a foot deep in crap creek.



the smell hit me first. then the cold. then just the god-awful situation itself. my clothes are wet. i'm probably at least sort of injured, and my back's bad to begin with. and i still have to get out of this toilet and catch the damn basset girls.



so i pick myself up, somehow manage to crawl out of the slippery slope of the south bank of crap creek. quickly scanning the territory, i spot the white-tipped tails about twenty yards ahead. undaunted, i move onward.



i didn't know that barbed wire grows in vine form. i'd always viewed it as simply an industrially manufactured product. but right about at this moment in time, as i became ensnared, i realized that the original barbed wire, and no doubt the most effective barbed wire, grows. in vine format. along the slippery sloped banks of crap creek.



i'm wearing sweat pants and a long sleeved t-shirt. growing barbed wire likes sweat pants. and long sleeved t-shirts. it grabbed me and hugged my and cuddled with me. oh, and i should also point out that the half inch long barbs on the organic form of barbed wire are razor sharp. not only do they delight in snagging your clothing, they like to create deep lacerations in your skin. now i can't imagine what it would be like to traipse thru this growing thicket of barbed wire without long sleeves. or without long pants. for even covered as well as i was - well, by now i'm not only covered in what had been a nice layer of cotton clothing, but a healthy portion of whatever scum is suspended in the water of crap creek AND an ever increasing amount of type o positive that's now oozing from various areas of my appendages - this crap is nasty.



but i think i've used the term "undaunted", and i continued to be "undaunted". i'm on a mission to rescue my girls before they reach the major street a couple hundred yards east of where we were.



i spotted them again. now they're back on the north side of the creek. nearing the outback once again. so before they have a chance to go elsewhere, i have to get there. i grab my cell phone from my pocket and push speed dial 3, so i can let hon know they're headed back to the outback. my cell phone from my pocket, the same pocket which, moments earlier, had been bathing in the murky waters of crap creek. did i ever tell you about putting my cell phone thru the wash? well, that was a different phone, in a different pocket. and after the spin cycle that phone just quit working. and now i'm thinking i have much the same scenario with this phone. but surprisingly, it worked. hon answered, i gave her latitude and longitude readings for the dogs, and hung up just before i slid 20 feed down the south bank and back into crap creek once again. but just me feet this time.



i managed to circumvent the growing barbed wire without too many more cuts, scratches, abrasions, and climbed up out of the north bank just in time to see hon leashing up the little darlings. not the term i used to describe them at that point, but . . .



funny thing about all this, seemingly they were done roaming and heading back to our yard. and perhaps for no good reason, i'm covered in frigid shitty mud, blood, and who knows what else. my back's worse than ever. i've lost at least a pint of blood, and as i discovered a little later, i developed a softball-sized bruise on my left buttock.



it ain't easy being a basset lover.



oh, and yes, sorry mark. sorry chris. the vikings killed the sissy cowboys. and i missed the whole damned thing.

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