Katana ~ ‘Water’

phot credit: me, ‘so water can be fun?’ — Kirin

“Oh for goodness sake, KT, you know what to do. This isn’t fun for anyone.”

The three of us were outside the kitchen door with its newly-installed pup opening, the one Kirin had just popped through a few times, to illustrate the point.

The point, however, was doing one’s business in the rain. Kirin was an old hand at this. Wait for the door to be opened, pop out, do morning business and pop back in for breakfast. The small awning outside the kitchen was perfect for assessing the correct spot, zipping out to accomplish the task, and zipping back to the door to minimize the wetting of the shiny black fur.

KT wouldn’t budge. “It’s raining… make it stop!”

“I don’t control the weather, lovey. Nothing I can do.”

“You don’t do this outdoors, so why am I supposed to? Whuffffffff!” He blew his disgust at me through damp whiskers. KT was, and not for the first time, determined to hold it for the duration unless the rain stopped.

Have you ever wanted to wail like a child while ‘training’ a puppy? In one of those moments when a brand-new level of noxious odor assaults you? Or you come home from work to find the kitchen…indescribable?

Or have you laughed until you wept? The mantra becomes “It’s only five months. Five months, maximum. I can do this.”

The puppy’s mantra, on the other hand, is something like “A new game! Lots of new games! Great smells! Oops… didn’t mean to do that… A new game! Lots of new games! Great smells!…”

And then there is rain. Some dogs love it. Hey, I get to get wet and roll in the mud and no one minds (much)! Others simply tolerate the damp and go about their business, locating ledges, hedges and other cover to keep them from a total wetting.

And then there is Katana, lovingly known as ‘KT’. Loves water, hates rain. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

“KT, pleeeeeese… oh bother, all right, come inside.” I had just spread a new pile of newspaper on one corner of the kitchen tile. Kirin, patiently waiting at my side, promptly wandered over and lifted his leg, soaking the whole thing.

“Way to show him the ropes,” I thought, as I mopped up yet again and spread dry papers on the spot.

‘His Belligerence’ re-entered the kitchen, (finally coming through the trapdoor) nosed at the papers and made off down the hall, adorable mudprints blooming in his wake. Note to self: Remember to close the other door to the kitchen.

I found him in the hall bathroom. It has a door that opens out toward the little boat dock, convenient when coming in from a paddle and not wanting to track wet through the house. The door was open. I had not left it that way. I found KT with his bum ju-u-u-u-st far enough outside the door, having a wee on the new mat. The roof did cover him, though he shook himself off as he marched toward me, still dry and grinning. He had obviously found the genius solution.

He stood there, all eleven inches of him, eyes level with my ankles, with ‘champion’ emblazoned on his face.

“Did I get it right?”

“Honestly? I have no words.” Did I mention it was a new mat? And I would have to look at that latch so he couldn’t wiggle-open the door. Or maybe… but he was off to find Kirin and resume pouncing procedures. Problem solved for today.

***

Saturday morning and I didn’t have to work. My out-of-town conference was canceled and I could puddle with the pups for the weekend. I finished my early morning forms and stretching on the front dock, opening my eyes from sarvasana into the curious nosing of two restless Scottish Terriers.

“I don’t want to get up, guys!” I mumbled into the nose licks.

“Move”, they nosed again. “Your face is turning that hot color.”

“Right. Well spotted.” I rolled over and dragged my mat into the shade, noticing something odd about one end of the platform. The over-water porch on the front of the house needed repairs so the owner had compromised by nailing fiberboard over the whole thing. It was sturdy enough if no one pounced too hard, but the gate to the boat dock on one side had rotted through. I supplemented it with a tension-gate and some boards but it needed checking on from time to time. The gate was leaning a bit. It looked tampered-with.

The only approach to the gate from the other side is from the lagoon and the garden is gated, so this had to be an inside job.

Kirin was well over a year old now and had his permanent teeth, and all that goes with them, including beginning to fill out across the chest. KT, however, was still a slim, wriggly, escape artist. I would have to make sure the gate was secure.

Sliding open one of the glass panels that formed the front of the house, I went to the kitchen for my toolbox. As I rummaged under the sink for hammer, wire and screws, I watched the sinuous slink of baby terrier inching toward the sagging gate.

Grabbing the tools in hand, I dashed for it. Oh no you don’t! KT, of course, vanished into thin air the minute I arrived outside, a little black zipping streak the only evidence of his prior presence. It wasn’t until I met KT that the cartoon caricatures of Scottie behavior ever made sense. He exhibited them all.

My makeshift barrier, made out of bits of old and new gate, was slightly buried in the sandy mud below the dock, not quite in the water, not quite out. I chose to nail it in place, rather than to move and wire it up level with the other fencing.

The gate seemed too high for either of the dogs to jump and the dock itself was a floating platform. The canine contingent distrusts things that move under their feet, so I thought this would serve for the moment.

Job done, I put the tools away and resumed our puddle day, this time on the living room sofa, pups nestled next to me on the floor, whistling softly through their whiskers. Simone’s key in the door woke us all.

“Oh! I thought you would be out. I brought the dry cleaning and woof biscuits.”

She needn’t have explained. The pups were leaping at the market bag over her arm, threatening to climb the plastic covering the dry cleaning to get at the treats. Simone fended them off with a practiced knee and elbow while hanging the dry cleaning in the front closet.

“Since you’re here, after all, should we move that old door that’s blocking the side of the house?” Simone was in jeans and t-shirt and looked ready for anything.

There went my relaxing day, but it was a good idea. The door in question must have belonged inside the house at some point but was mostly an eyesore now. It served to block the garden on the boat dock side, and must have been left there by the previous occupants for just that reason. Simone had mentioned, quite a few times, how lovely it would be to be able to walk all the way around the house (especially when herding Scotties) since the porch and dock were gated off anyway.

I left the dogs in the house while we moved the door, gloved against the damp and splinters that old wood accumulates. Wrinkling my nose at the moldy smell, I agreed that it really had to go.

“I wanted to do this today,” Simone said, “because large item pickup is on Monday and this way it really will be gone… for good...” She huffed a little on those last two words, helping me to angle the door around the corner of the house and out toward the front gate.

We had just latched the gate behind us, congratulating one another on a job well done, when a racing-scrabbling sound came from the kitchen. The trapdoor! I forgot to latch the pet door! {I can’t begin to tell you the reactions Scotties have to the word ‘pet’ but other descriptions fail me.}

KT plunged through the door, front paws extended, nose tucked in, as though he had done this for years, with a more cautious Kirin right behind him. Without a moment’s hesitation, KT pounced as big as his little body could manage, and scrabbled over the top of the newly-repaired (obviously not high enough) gate, pushing off with his hind legs. He landed on all fours, just, and kept right on going. He was too light to wobble the dock so he took another gleeful pounce and landed slap in the water.

Kirin was barking as if the house were afire. Inside the front deck, peering safely through its vertical slats, he told off his little brother.

“Not the water! Don’t EVER jump in the water! Stupid! That was so stupid!”

I don’t remember how I got from the back garden to the edge of the dock in a nano-blip. Obviously, I ran. As KT came up for air, gasping and bobbing, I grabbed him by the scruff and hoisted him onto the dock. My sigh of relief matched his of total disgust, as his baby-shake-down threw off the terrors, soaking me in the process.

Kirin continued his barking rant while Simone raced into the hall bathroom for a towel. She returned, handing it to me wordlessly, her face twisted into a thousand versions of “I will NOT double over laughing.”

Looking a little startled, KT sat down to ponder, while being vigorously toweled dry. I could almost see the smoke coming out of his ears.

“So that’s water. You use that word for what we drink and what you wash us with. Pesky rain is made of that stuff… but this was different…. I LIKE it!”

“Maybe they left that door there for a reason?” Simone choked back a smirk as I shot her a gamely withering look.

“Moving it was your idea, remember?” I hefted the little ball of dampness into her arms and climbed back over the gate. As I did so, I heard another chuckle from behind me.

My neighbor’s nephew, Connor, was visiting. His tall, tanned athleticism had captivated Simone from their first meeting. He was leaning against the fence, laughing openly, as Simone tried to brush off her now-lagoon-smudged jeans and t-shirt.

At my questioning look, Connor pointed next to his feet, where tools, new boards and other gate-creating materials lay waiting.

“Simone asked me to come over and help her with this today but I see you two beat me to it.”

This, while casually lifting one long leg after another over my makeshift barrier and kneeling down to give KT a scratch behind the ears. Kirin stayed safely on the porch, watching to see what would happen. Connor had ‘saved him’ from the water a few months before, so they were old cronies and he knew his ear scooches would be forthcoming.

“So what have you been up to, little one?” Connor asked KT.

“I went swimming!” Pride swelled his little chest and sparkled from his eyes.

“He went for his first swim,” I translated, for Connor’s benefit.

“I can see that,” Connor chuckled, winking at Simone. “Perhaps we could finish the job now so it doesn’t happen again?”

I left Connor and Simone alone, as they obviously wanted to be, and went in search of the shower. Kirin followed me indoors. I had KT tucked under one arm, not letting go of him for a second until we were in my bedroom with the door closed.

When I finished showering, Kirin was curled up on the foot of the bed.

“Naptime?” he suggested. KT was already a slightly damp puffball on the pillow nearest the wall.

“Sounds good to me,” I thought, as I clambered in between them.

“Is that what you meant by a puddle day?” I don’t know which of them said that, really. I laughed myself to sleep all the same.

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this, you might enjoy KT’s book, now on available on Amazon, Katana: A Life on the Edge. He would be so pleased!

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I live, learn, write, create and share the experience of embodying HER Infinite Love. https://www.nalinimacnab.com

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Nalini MacNab

Nalini MacNab

I live, learn, write, create and share the experience of embodying HER Infinite Love. https://www.nalinimacnab.com

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