She didn’t bowl me over. That was strange. I called her name. No bark. She’d never jumped the fence, and that made me worry.
“Daisy! Here girl!” Nothing. I flipped on the backyard lights and glanced in the pool. We’d drained the water as it needed work that wasn’t in the budget.
There was Daisy in the deep end, glad to see me. Her silent wiggle was the only proof since she’d barked herself hoarse.
“Okay, girl, I’m coming to the rescue.” I stepped into the shallow end and searched for a plan. Daisy had recently lost her collar leaving me nothing to grab. I considered the old pool skimmer. Perhaps I could prod her up the slope. On inspection, it was useless.
Maybe I could coax her close with treats and grasp her leg. After grabbing her favorites, I sat atop the pool’s slope, doggy cookies in hand, and called. She came closer. I reached further. Closer. Further.
Did I mention our full-sized, in-ground pool has a nine-foot deep end?
I was stuck.
That slope was slippier than any glacier. And as cold. I’d get an inch up the face before sliding to the bottom. I tried without my shoes and socks, thinking more traction would help.
Now I was cold and barefoot and alone, stuck in my in-ground pit. Daisy nudged me. Okay, so I wasn’t all alone, but we both knew she wouldn’t help.
Tears welled. Phil wasn’t due for hours. It was time for panic. I needed to be rescued.
I prayed and yelled as loudly as I could. “Help! Please!”
Stuck and Waiting for Help
Nothing. I hollered over 20 minutes. I think it was 20 minutes. My voice cracked, my throat hurt, my hope disintegrated. This wasn’t working. It was definitely over 20 minutes.
“You need help?”
I shot to my feet. “Yes! I’m stuck in my pool and can’t get out.” I sounded like a commercial, but I didn’t care. “You must jump the fence.”
“Okay, be back.”
It was the longest wait of my life. Doubt and fear flooded. Had I really heard a voice? Was I in danger? How would Daisy react? Did I want a stranger in the backyard?
Yes, I did!
The voice returned—with a friend.
Soon I saw them at the pool’s edge. “Did you fall? You hurt?” They hurried down the steps.
“No, I’m okay. I found my dog down here and slipped—”
Now there were three.
And she wasn’t pleased.
Fortunately, they had height. One man grabbed the loveseat and pulled himself out. Then he held the pool skimmer for his friend. The friend tucked my arm in his.
I clung to his bicep like duct tape while he pulled us, slip-sliding, up the slope to the shallow end.
That left Daisy still stuck.
“Do you have a sheet?” The first rescue guy was the thinker.
I retrieved one.
Another friend jumped the fence, climbing down with Daisy, which she liked. We spread the sheet, and he encouraged her onto it. Once pulled to safety, she dashed up the pool steps and cowered behind the orange tree.
I returned to my rescuers, shaking from head to toe. I thanked them repeatedly and asked their names—none of which I remembered—as I let them out the front door.
By the time Phil came home, I’d calmed. I wanted to thank the men better than parroting, “Thank you, thank you, thank you.” The next day I bought a card and goodies and began my search.
We’ve lived in our house for 27 years and know most neighbors on our street. Over the back fence and next street, though, not so much. After two unproductive trips trying to locate my rescuers, my husband finally suggested the house.
The one where the police sometimes stop by.
The subject of neighborhood gossip.
I hadn’t tried there, but I decided I might as well. There were my rescuers.
I delivered my gift and thanked them. Again.
They were the only people who answered that night. Lights went on closer, but no one checked. Plus, these guys weren’t merely on the other side of the alley but across the street in back of my house. My voice carried.
I’ve no idea why the police show up where they live, but they’re the only ones who answered my cry. It reminded me of the old Good Samaritan story. Usually, I identify with the Samaritan, the good guy. But now I wonder if the man beaten by robbers on the Jericho road learned anything from his unlikely rescue. I sure did. And I’m grateful.
Jennifer Cary writes from Arizona.
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