It’s been hot. Cape Town has had one of those weeks where the temperatures stretch the boundaries of belief. The sort of weeks which we only get once or twice a year, in January or February.
I took the beagle out for an early walk yesterday to avoid the worst of the ridiculous heat. Things didn’t go well. Long story short, the beagle ended up leg deep in the silt at the bottom end of the dirtiest pond in Wynberg Park.
Those of you who know Wynberg Park will recognise that the competition for the title of dirtiest pond in Wynberg Park is pretty stiff.
From the moment the water oozes out from the hillside beneath the freeway, it stagnates through several pools and ditches filled with the remnants of last weekend’s braai’ing revelries and copious amounts of goose shit, before seeping its way under a wall into the potentially even more murky surroundings of the local Convent school at the bottom of the park.
The beagle was trotting along slowly in the already warm sunshine, approaching a pair of Egyptian Geese and their six goslings. They weren’t hugely happy about this, but the beagle wasn’t after any trouble and was wholly uninterested in the geese and their fluffy kids. Squirrels: different matter, but these were definitely geese, and the beagle really couldn’t have cared less. In any case, our feathered friends were taking no chances and had hopped into the pond long before we’d even got close.
What happened next was rather odd. The beagle basically just walked to the edge of the pond, comprehensively failed to stop, and thus continued down a small bank and straight into the pond, where it immediately became entrapped in the stinking, claggy mud which lay just under the surface of the stinking, claggy water.
The beagle looked up at me, somewhat bemused.
The beagle was stuck.
I watched on in horror, realising who was going to have to rescue it.
The geese watched on in amusement, realising who was going to have to rescue it.
Fortunately, we have recently purchased a new harness for the beagle, which comes with a handy handle on the back. Owners of more lively dogs might perhaps use this to hold their canines back should they choose to attack someone or something, or rear up menacingly in the face of a perceived enemy or threat.
But we don’t have a more lively dog. We have a beagle and it’s currently stuck in some mud. The worst mud in the worst part of the worst pond in Wynberg Park.
Sooooo, lucky me knelt down amongst the goose poo and used the handle to lift the fortuitously-somewhat-less-rotund-than-it-used-to-be beagle out of the thickest, most adherent, most offensive-smelling mud in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town.
[For the purists out there, yes: there was a clear PHLOPP! as the beagle became freed from its stinking prison.]
We continued on our walk, with the delicate stench of the pond following us through the leafy suburbs. Upon our arrival home, the beagle was unceremoniously bathed, reawakening the scent of Eau de merde d’Oie. And we still weren’t done. Once cleaned, the daft animal immediately rolled in a flower bed and had to be hosed off again.
My water bill is going to be a nightmare again this month thanks to the antics of this so-called family pet. And the worst bit is that there’s literally not even a hint of apology or repentance. Nada. Dololo.
So that’s it. The tale of how the beagle ended up waist deep in the most toxic substance this side of Woodstock.
I don’t think that there’s anything you can learn from this aside from reiterating what I’ve already repeatedly told you about the folly of owning a beagle.
I really – really – do hope that you are listening to me.