Mud Be Damned!

A nasty thunderstorm rolled through here last night, dumping almost 3 in. of rain in less than an hour. The sky was ablaze with lightning and the ground trembled from the roar of the ensuing thunder. I was in the barn during the worst of it. Fortunately, the horses stayed calm and all the cats were accounted for. I’d just finished tucking everybody into their respective night time spots and headed out of the riding ring and into the main part of the barn. A stream of water rolled toward me just as I entered the main aisleway.

*Crap!* I went into salvage mode and quickly moved 500lbs of feed and other any other items that called the floor home. I sloshed through one stall that already had 2 in. of water in it. There wasn’t much more I could do, other than hope the rain wouldn’t last much longer. It didn’t. Presently the barn floor is wet, but there isn’t any standing water.

So this morning, the dogs were restless and I was too, so I donned wellies and we went out. Our normal route went beyond soggy. With every step, I sank into the mud and worked to keep from slipping and falling on my ass. Within seconds, the dog’s undercarriages were black with mud and dripping wet. There was no turning back…they couldn’t really get any muddier than they already were (could they), and I already knew I’d have to wipe them all off before I could bring them into the house…and so they ran…and ran…and ran.

Usually when we have one of these massive downpours, the marsh floods and it quickly becomes a river. This was no exception.  When I walked up to the edge, the water was running swiftly over the trail. The dogs? Hell, they’d splashed happily through it on their way to look for apples the deer had missed. Except for Sadie…I picked her up and together we carefully waded through the 8 inch deep water.

On her own feet again, Sadie ran ahead to look for squirrels in the hemlock grove. I waited while Cedar, Cagney, Echo and Leika found and ate their apples. Onward. *Oy* just past the pine trees, my trail had become a canal of standing water…a foot deep. As I stood at the edge, contemplating whether I wanted to continue through, the four big dogs hit the water and splashed gleefully through. How could I not go on? I knew in some places the water would be over my boots, so by virtue of hanging onto trees and branches, I made it through.

A few deer ran out of the woods ahead of us. No doubt we’d interrupted their meal of acorns and beech nuts. Once we got to the end of our property, we turned for home. And that’s when the chase began. With the other dogs watching and carefully staying out of their way, Cagney and Echo raced through the water, throwing water, mud, and bits of grass over the rest of us. More mud, I thought. Then I looked down at my jeans, which were now covered with splotches of mud. *Sigh* And more laundry.

I briefly wondered about the level of my sanity at bringing them out here. Until I saw the ecstatic look on Cagney’s face as she ran past me. Her eyes gleamed in devilish amusement and her tongue flopped around outside her mouth as she teased Echo into keeping the game going.

How could I deny them that? I couldn’t help  but laugh as the two crazy dogs ran past and repeated their race through the water. If only they’d done that before I had to put on my scuba gear to get through that part. I’m sure there’s now a few inches less of water than there was prior to the crazy dog’s arrival.

We slogged on home shortly thereafter. Fortunately, I’d had the foresight to leave a couple of towels on the doorstep on the way out. I rubbed the dogs clean (mostly) and dry (sorta) and let them into the house. A few minutes later and they were all sacked out on the various dog beds strewn about the house, happier than dogs have a right to be.

Yeah, mud be damned….I’ll do it again, just to see the joy on my dogs faces, and that makes it all the worthwhile.


About laurie salzler

novelist, outdoor enthusiast, animal lover, dog trainer
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2 Responses to Mud Be Damned!

  1. Beth says:

    I can picture the dogs having a great time, racing through the water, tails flying and tongues hanging. Happy dogs, happy owner…….always a good combination.


  2. Love hearing your country stories, Laurie. Sounds like a wonderful life. You’re a tough lady and I always feel slightly reassured about the world when I hear about your deep caring for animals. 🙂

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