As has been mentioned before, the goat pasture was (we previously thought) quite cleverly designed using the pond to create one boundary, with the bridge offering a path to the island which was badly overgrown and in need of the severe pruning the goats offered.
Count among our successes that the goats have done a fine job working through the imbroglio of sumac, hedge and poison ivy to allow sunlight to touch the ground’s surface and grass to begin establishing itself on our island. Count among our detractors the “porousness” of the pond-side boundary, such as when drought dropped the pond level to the point where the goats and other animals could have unimpeded ingress and egress by simply walking around the fence. For the purposes of this story, the other detractor to this boundary system was manifest last winter in a long cold-snap, when the pond froze over completely, allowing the adventurous Azure to trot across the pond’s surface for her own island exploration expedition, a friendly visit to the goats, or just random ice-skidding meanderings.
We are well past such freezes, but they clearly remain sharply outlined in Azure’s mind.
One of the fine things in this world is to enjoy the quiet of the fall of evening on the water. We were doing just this last night, K. sitting in a chair, me leaning against the railing of the floating dock, listening to the cacophony of crickets and bullfrogs, watching the peculiar variety of chase that occurs as fish tap the surface of the pond where bugs briefly light for a sip of water. The sun was making its final dip toward the horizon, filling the sky with ribbons of pinks and oranges. It had been a hot day, so the evening breeze was especially nice as we stopped for this time on the dock to savor the fleeting moments of our weekend.
This restful moment was abruptly interrupted by a splash and K’s gasp, “She’s in!”
I turned just in time to see Azure’s ass-end pointing straight up in the air, her back toes clutching to the deck boards, tail straight up in the air, and every available puppy part reaching for something behind her. I grabbed her leash to reel her in, and K swooped down and scooped her back onto the dock.
Safely returned to the solid planks of the dock, Azure was completely wet and had moss covering her forehead and snout. K was laughing that unhinged, scared, relieved laugh that she saves for special moments when people she loves are hurt or nearly hurt. I was wondering what in the world was going on in Azure’s crazy little mind. Azure shook the moss off her nose and didn’t seem to wonder or notice much had happened at all. As she nosed her way back to the edge of the dock, we decided we had had enough quietude and relaxation for one evening.