Spring has fully sprung up here in the frozen tundra, and that means one thing for me, destruction of IOS devices. I set a land speed record this year, shattering my iPhone 6s two times in 10 days. Mr. PQ has abandoned me as a product tester for our new Timberline cases. As using and giving feedback on our products is part of my job description, I am compelled to tote my iPhone and Apple Watch everywhere I go, including on a rigorous walk with Bear, the PQ mascot, my friend Angie and her dog Mason.

The dogs wriggled and romped from our cars as if they had never been on a walk outside, and we took off down the 14th hole of our local golf course, closed for renovation. Things were going swimmingly as we forged ahead over hills and holes. Now, Angie’s dog is a bird dog, and he is the kind of bird dog that will hunt himself to death, literally. He is also not a very good swimmer, which apparently he is unaware of, as he took advantage of dashing into every body of water we encountered.

As we rounded the 2nd hole, enroute to our cars, Mason found yet another pond in which to splash. Unfortunately, this pond was the home to a mama duck and 2 baby ducklings. That fool dog went on a 25 minute lap swim in that pond intent on one singular thing; catch that mama duck. As Mason was not a good swimmer, the mama duck always remained a few yards ahead of him, at times gaining distance with a skittering short flight. We yelled and swore and threw things at Mason to distract him from his pursuit, but he is a bird dog and bird dogs will hunt to the death.

As I stood on the shore opposite my friend, I could see that Mason was starting to go into distress and I had choices to make.. I could either sit and watch the dog drown (not really a choice), wait until he is in full distress and dive into the pond, drowning my iPhone and Apple Watch in the process, or I could disregard the bog and muck, remove my shoes/socks and IOS devices, (and thank god I remembered my keys!) and wade out into the pond, swimming to his rescue.

I took option 3, which seemed like the best idea at the time. Until I took my first step into the pond and sank to my mid-thigh in ooze and muck. Shallow water be damned, I started swimming. Keep head above water, keep head above water, I chanted as I set out across the mucky pond. One item my calculation overlooked was that the water was going to be cold, as the ice had only melted off it weeks before. But there were lives to be saved, so I dug deep into my triathlon roots and stroked as fast as I could toward the duck and dog that now seemed to regard me as a partner in their game of chase around the pond.

Dammit dog, I am trying to save you, quit swimming away from me. Fortunately for me, I have a competitive chip and have chased down fellow age groupers in the water before, so I had that dog by the haunches and then the collar in no time, dragging his sagging backside to shore.

Angie was in full distress, both in that her dog almost died and that I had dove into the pond after him. She offered me her jacket, she offered to retrieve my belongings, she offered to sell both kidneys on the internet should I ever be in financial distress, or needing a pair of kidneys.

I responded as only a triathlete and adventurer could respond: well that was a refreshing adventure. We strode off down the fairway, dogs in tow, reaching our cars, only for me to look down and realize I had dropped my Apple Watch somewhere between the pond and our cars. As that route covered a probable 2 square miles, because I seldom pay attention to the trail I walk, my only thought was, Mr. PQ is gonna kill me.

Angie, the true hero of my story, walked and re-walked the links to the pond and back searching for any glint of glass and steel. Just as we were about to abandon our search, she looked down and screamed, there was my Apple Watch just at her feet. A good thing too, because as we made our way back to our cars, the lawn mowing brigade came sweeping behind us.