I fell in the lake today.
And why is this any different than any other weekend, you ask?
Well, for starters, I fell in at the bank, which means I was touching bottom virtually the entire time. And the bottom is something I don’t deal with very well, especially when it feels like this ooky slippery slimy sludge that sucks my legs up to the shin and threatens to swallow me whole. Second of all, the bank was surrounded by THIS LOVELY stuff.
Scientific name: Lyngbya algae. Redneck Bass Fisherman Name: Snot Weed. This is the stuff that covers your worm and makes it look like a giant loogie swimming back to the boat. Like someone has just skeet, skeet, skeeted buckets of snot rockets all over the water. This stuff has started taking over my parents otherwise super clean lake.
And the spot I picked to fall in was just eat up with snot weed.
Let me tell you how this happened. This afternoon I got the great idea that Gus and Woodrow needed to learn how to swim. I mean, they are Labrador Retrievers, after all, so it should be a freaking natural instinct inside of them to be able to swim, right? I mean Woodrows paws are HUGE and WEBBED and look like they could haul ass across a body of water.
So, we go to my parents house because they have a nice lake with a gentle sloping bank that is perfect for a puppies first swim. We arrive and get the puppies out and they go buck wild because Woooooo we’re in a new place and Woooooo it smells like fish and ducks and wildlife and Wooooo there’s all this room to run without a fence to bonk our heads into and Wooooooo all-you-can-eat-snotweed-buffet!!!! And just in case y’all don’t remember, this is the same place from a few blog posts back where we burned the pampas grass and charbroiled 3 water moccasins. Yeah.
At first we had the dogs on a leash to try and rein them in if they got too crazy. But of course two wiggling excited puppies are not easy to handle on a leash, so immediately they got in such a tangle they were getting choked every time they moved. Finally we got them straightened out and I took the opportunity to toss a toy in the water. They both jumped in after it, and both promptly went in over their heads. Gus came up swimming, and Woodrow came up fighting. He was freaking out, floundering his legs and swatting at the water like it was full of hornets or something. He just couldnt make his feet work right to doggie paddle correctly. Gus on the other hand looked like Greg freakin Louganis out there. He was a CHAMP at the swimming. He couldnt quite get a hold of the toy because it didnt have a good place for him to grip with his mouth but he could push it with his nose and get it back to shore. This didn’t occur to me to be a problem.
So they come back to the bank and we decide, ok, lets see how they do without their leashes. Off come the leashes, and Gus runs back into the water. Only this time, he is damned and determined to get that toy, because I told him to. So he pushed and pushed, but he’s pushing it farther and farther away from the bank. We start calling his name and telling him to come back, but he’s on a mission to get that toy. He gets about 5 feet from shore, then 10, and he was fast approaching 15 feet when I get scared that he will get tired and sink to the bottom of the lake. My momma/lifeguard instincts kick in and off I go into the lake to get my dog back. Because he might be an Olympic doggie paddler, but he is still only like 12 weeks old, y’all.
I take one step in, and on the second step the bottom drops out from underneath me and I’m up to my ears in snotweed. It’s covering me from head to toe. And I feel it wrapping around my ankles and knees and unmentionable spots that give me the heebs to think about right now. So I swim. Hard and fast. Away from the bank and the snot weed toward my dog. And then I see Gus pass me on the way back to shore, just happily swimming along, like HEY! MOMMA’S SWIMMIN TOO!! WOOOOOOO This is the greatest day of my puppy life!!!
I realized I have jumped in the lake to save this dog who can swim laps around me and I am fully clothed, with my car keys in my pocket. There goes that key fob. And then I realized I either have to swim waaaaay down to the pier and get out on the ladder, or I can just go back the way I came, through the snotweed into my husbands strong and capable hands. So I take the shortest route possible out of the water. But just to put the icing on the cake, as high stepping my way onto the shore my shoe gets stuck, Edward Rooney style, in the deep sucking mud of the lake bottom. I didnt care at this point, I just wanted out of the algae that was swathing my body.
We spent 10 minutes dredging the bottom with cane poles and a net trying to dig up my shoe from the sludge. Finally J got it to pop up (I did have on my floating Nike flip flops, so that helped.)
So that is how I fell in the lake today. On the upside, one of my dogs is a champion swimmer. The other one looks like Muhammed Ali getting suddenly awakened from a deep slumber. He comes up a-swinging.
Bad news is, I dont have any pics of the actual event. Good news is, theres a video tape. Thanks, Mom, for filming the occasion while I turned into Swamp Thang.
And I’m gonna go take a long hot shower now.