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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Dip in Winter Waters

When I woke up this morning, I had no idea I"d save Tank's life.

The day was a cold frosty one, and several friends and a small pack of kids walked down to Fort Abercrombie. When we arrived at the beach, the kids were ahead of the grown ups, excitedly throwing sticks to the dogs in the calm ocean.

Within a few minutes Nora called me over and brought to my attention that she was worried about Tank. I called out to him, and he wasn't coming. He had a piece of bull kelp in his mouth and was going around in circles.

"Lets walk up the beach and pretend we're leaving" I suggested, hoping that Tank would see us leaving and come out of the water. He still didn't budge.

"I'm really worried about Tank." Nora cried, with her eyebrows furrowed and becoming even more   concerned.

"I know, Nora. Hmmm…I wonder if he is stuck on that kelp." I replied. I was worried too. At that point he had been in the water nearly 10 minutes and seemed to be tiring. 10 plus minutes in warm waters wouldn't be a big deal, but cold Alaskan waters could be a different situation.

I turned to Marias and Tasha and conferred with them.

"I have to swim in. Theres no other way." I said. My girlfriends were anxious for me, the winter cold water that I would have to face. "That water is cold, wow. I've been in it in a wetsuit and it was even super cold then" Marias reminded me.

As I looked across the way, with Tank swimming in circles, I knew I had to go in. No, it wouldn't be fun. yes, I would be cold after. Noras crying increased.

I had several layers of shirts on so I peeled off an outer sweater, took off my shoes and socks and walked into the ocean. Boy it was frigid. Very quickly the bottom gave away and I breast stroked out to Tank.

The head of the bull kelp came right out of his mouth and he took off to shore very quickly and I swam behind him. WIth haste, I took off my wet shirt, put on my reserve dry one on and wore two jackets back to the house (mine and Marias'). My jeans were soaked and legs felt cold, but I knew that a warm bath would be available within 30 minutes.

And it was. And I warmed up. Very slowly throughout the day. I'm still not completely warm. Another bath before bed will hopefully help.

Tonight I'm especially I"m thankful for  sweet Tank. And thankful that I didn't hurt myself saving him.


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