the story behind the picture

When we first moved to our home, Scott and I discussed swimming options. I had lived in a community with four pools. He belonged to a swim club. Our new neighborhood had a swim club but there was a long waiting list to become members. So we moved to the next option – pool ownership. Scott recommended a rectangular pool
with a surrounding deck and fence which had enough supports we could backfill around the outside. I followed his lead and within a month or so we had installed an above-ground pool buried into the slope of the back yard.

It’s the basic fact that it is NOT our pool – it is CECIL’s pool! From the day we brought Cecil home to share our life with us, he has loved that pool. He jumps in, swims around, grabs his toy, snorts, grunts, climbs out, shakes off and does it all over again. He loves his pool. Every member of the family knows – if you swim in the pool, there’s going to be dog hair! Cecil has even created his own little game with the pool. He walks around the deck to where the output feeds water into the pool. He stands with toy in mouth until he feels the timing is right. Then he drops his toy into the pool. The toy bobbles around until the current picks it up and floats the toy down the side of the pool and then the current pushes it towards the middle of the pool. Cecil then hurries to the steps, jumps in and swims over to his toy. He looks like an alligator, stealthily tracking his prey. Back to the steps. A good and complete shake off. Then he barks out to me, letting me know that I still have not yet come up on the deck to play with him. Then he runs back and does it all over again. The sad part about the pool and knowing that it is Cecil’s isn’t that it IS Cecil’s. It’s the fact that he gets to enjoy the pool and I don’t.

I would be out there two evenings a week mowing the lawn with our old mower, sweat running down my face while cursing every blade of grass that dared to grow. There would be Cecil sitting at the base of the steps to the pool – howling! I would relent and let him up on the deck and then continue to mow the lawn. He would howl again – MOM! My toy is in the pool! (We both know how the toy got into the pool.) Ok, I’d call, you can go in. He would joyously jump in! I would continue to trudge behind the mower envious of my own dog who was happily swimming around like an alligator while I sweated my ass off. Life was not fair.

In the Spring of 2009, I had to drain the pool to make repairs. Then clean the pool, refill, yada yada. I had to lock Cecil off the pool deck as he kept either trying to get into the empty pool or dropping his toy into the empty pool hoping that I would then let him retrieve said toy. So there he sat, outside the cage that encloses the ladder, howling piteously!!! Scott and each of the girls came out to plead his case. I was firm, no Cecil on the pool deck!!! It took me a week working every day on that stupid pool to get it fixed. Finally it was filled, filtered and ready to go.

I got my camera ready, opened the gate and tossed in a toy. I caught Cecil mid-jump. I must admit, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him happier.

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