Gold-Digger at Work
Following a checkered history, a certain 6-1/2 year old curly-haired rescued Golden Retriever had found her way to her adoptive family. That was a story in itself, but let’s for now accept that the welcome was mutually enthusiastic.
Purebred Goldens aren’t usually this curly. This is her summer cut – kinky when wet!
(No – she is definitely not a “Doodle!”)
The July 4th weekend was special for Kramer. She got her first small airplane ride, her first introduction to the in-laws’ lakefront home “up north” – and apparently her first experience with lake living. That she took to very quickly, and within days, she found her career goals - in pursuing tennis balls (always two at a time in her big mouth), endless swimming in the lake and mining rocks out of the sand in the shallows in front of the house. She would wade around in depths from a few inches to almost two feet. When she’d step on a stone, she would dig around at it, plunge her head into the water and do what retrievers do best – haul it up onto the shore or the pier to drop it with a clunk – preferably on a handy human foot. By the end of the summer, she had pretty well cleared all of the rocks she could dig out of the bottom and deposited them ashore. This was later to prove a valuable skill. And, the beach area was much the better for her efforts. Steep shoreline areas are neatly lined with many dozens of recovered stones.
Kramer’s new owners’ son, John and his bride of two years, Maria, joined the family one holiday weekend with swimming, sailing, golf and other summer things. John’s recent weight loss made his treasured wedding ring a bit loose on its assigned finger, and sometime during the weekend it had slipped unnoticed from his hand. Upon discovery of the ring’s absence, John assumed the ring was lost during a swim or possibly while sailing. The family searched the house and yard – then the lake’s beach and shallows, using snorkel gear, to no avail. Then, they hired a local diver who had breathing gear and a metal detector to look deeper and farther. Same results. The family then pretty well wrote it off as an unfortunate loss. Wisconsin winter came and put a couple of feet of ice over the beach scene.
The next summer, interest arose again, and Bob, John’s father, decided to refresh his SCUBA skills. He rented appropriate gear and borrowed a professional underwater metal detector from a relative who had been a commercial diver. Well, the search was reported to be entertaining, yielding lots of bits of metallic stuff – but nothing of value, and no ring. Bob did report some impressive walleyes, small-mouth bass and northern pike. Kramer was very interested in the deep-water goings-on, but not much help. Deep diving was beyond her pay grade. Another summer was then gone, the search for the ring pretty well abandoned. Another Wisconsin winter came and went. Thick ice took over again.
One day of the following season’s Labor Day weekend, Bob was puttering about the waterfront, and Kramer was at her usual rock patrol in knee-deep water (people knees, not dog knees). Bob noticed Kramer particularly hard at work at something on the bottom. She sometimes tried to dig out rocks too big to pick up. When Bob waded over to check out the situation, he spotted a bit of a glimmer in the clear water. Sure enough, in the churned-up sand from Kramer’s digging, there was a gold band. None the worse for wear, other than a bit of a stain from years of immersion, it was the lost ring. It had apparently, some two years before, slipped off a finger as John was coming ashore with the Sunfish sailboat. Winter ice would surely have ground the ring into the sand, but apparently Kramer dug it back to the surface.
Kramer relaxes with a rock very near where the ring was found.
Bob waded ashore with the ring, accompanied by Kramer (lugging the large rock). A quick call to Maria confirmed the engraving inside, and the stage was set for a surprise reunion for John.
Altering their flight plan home, Bob, Lynn and Kramer stopped in Madison to visit a quizzical John and a beside-herself Maria. After much hinting and hilarious interchange, John finally spotted the long-missing ring at the bottom of his champagne glass. (Had John inadvertently swallowed the ring with a final gulp of bubbly, yet another amusing chapter could have been added to this multi-year saga). Recovery a second time would have been somewhat less fun!
Kramer, in spite of a few Golden-like faults (loose hair by the pound, etc.), had indeed proven her worth and is now deemed a very respectable gold-digging blonde.
Rescued dogs rule!