The Dog Who Loved the Water
Lyla had a problem.
She got a puppy for her eleventh birthday—and he was obsessed with the water.
His name was Jet, but if Lyla had known about his H2O infatuation, she would’ve named him Kayak or Shipwreck.
Lyla and her parents lived across the street from the Yellow Banks Creek. The moment Lyla took her eyes off Jet, he would race across the road, leap into the stream, and swim until someone forced him out.
Jet was a good swimmer , but there were a couple of problems with his arrangement with the Yellow Banks.
One, Jet didn’t listen one bit when he was in or near the water.
Two, Jet risked his life every time he ran across the road.
Even Lyla’s best friend Kelly, who acted like a mermaid herself half the time, thought Jet was crazy. One evening, Kelly and Lyla pulled an unhappy Jet away from the creek and back to Lyla’s house.
Kelly said, “This dog is weird. Are you sure he’s a dog and not a fish?”
“I don’t know what to do with him!” Lyla confessed. “If he even smells water, he doesn’t listen at all! He broke the shower curtain trying to get into the bathtub, jumped onto the counter to knock over our water pitcher, and popped the blow-up pool we had in the backyard. If I knew getting a dog would be like this… I’m not sure I would’ve wanted one!”
Jet wagged his tail and smiled up at them, drool dripping from his pink tongue.
Kelly ran her fingers through his coarse black fur. “He’s just so cute! It’s hard to stay mad at him.”
“I know. But if I can’t figure out how to keep him away from the water by the time school starts, I don’t know what we’re going to do with him.”
Kelly came up with a few ideas to break Jet’s obsession with water. They tried drenching him with a bucket of ice water—but he just wagged his tail. They tried luring him away from the water with tasty treats—but Jet loved the water more than the treats. No matter what they did, they couldn’t get Jet away from the water.
School started in less than a week, and Jet was still out of control.
The Sunday before the first day of school, Lyla’s family went away for the day. Lyla asked her Uncle Buster to stop in around lunch and let Jet out for a potty break.
“Just don’t let him off his leash, or he’ll run right into the Yellow Banks,” Lyla told Uncle Buster. “And make sure you lock him back up in his crate before you leave.”
Little did Lyla know, Uncle Buster didn’t believe dogs belonged in crates.
When Lyla and her parents got home, a terrible surprise awaited them.
Water poured in from the dining room ceiling. Crumbles of dry wall plopped to the ground. An inch of water sat on the hardwood floor.
Panic rose in Lyla’s chest. “Jet? Jet, where are you?” she called, dashing up the stairs.
That’s when Lyla discovered that Uncle Buster had locked Jet in the upstairs bathroom. Lyla threw open the bathroom door to reveal a sopping wet Jet standing in the middle of a catastrophic mess.
The sick faucet was running, but the drain was clogged by shreds of magazine pages. Water ran from the sink to the floor, filling the bathroom and spilling to the dining room below.
“How in the world…” Lyla’s mom’s voice drifted off as she observed the scene from behind Lyla.
“Oh, Jet…” Lyla whispered.
Her father’s footsteps pounded up the stairs. Lyla worried this was the end for Jet. Dad would never want to keep him after this incident.
But instead of fury, laughter filled the air. “Is this what it looks like?” Dad asked. “The dog chewed up a magazine, turned on the sink, and flooded our house?”
“I… I think so,” Lyla said.
As it turns out, Uncle Buster’s disdain for the crate was the solution we didn’t know we needed. After being trapped for hours in a flooded bathroom, Jet never ran across the road to the Yellow Banks again. He had a new healthy fear of water—and Lyla and her family certainly didn’t mind.
As for the house… Jet’s Sunday adventure caused thousands of dollars worth of damage.
The good news was, insurance covered it. And Lyla’s mom had been wanting to redo the dining room floor.