Basset Sensed its Own ‘Sinking of Titanic’

by Carole Cloudwalker


On Saturday my dog and I watched “Titanic” on a Netflix DVD.

On Sunday, Monday and Tuesday we lived it. Wapiti style.

Yes, it’s true: There can be high water on the high ground, even in a house on a bench several hundred feet above the North Fork of the Shoshone River, where no water has flowed in a creek for hundreds of years.

(But my geologist friend did tell me she thought what is now Green Creek once likely came through my property, carving out the sandstone formations I call “The Sandrocks.” I really would like to have the creek back, but one or two residents along the creek as it flows today likely would protest. They’re kinda funny about things like that.)

Anyhow, there we were, watching the unsinkable ship sinking, in the movie.

Then there we were, watching my basement bathroom slowly fill up with water from a plumbing leak that began worsening Sunday.

I tried to stanch the flow with towels, being unable to determine just where the water was coming from and hence what to do about it.

Ironically, I had been dealing with an upstairs sink that would not flow at all for some months. The solution I hit upon, rather than calling a plumber, was to carry water in gallon jugs into the bathroom so I could wash my hands and face and brush my teeth.

I am so sick of irony.

A shower stall adjacent to the unflowing sink had the opposite problem: it would not completely shut off. It drip-drip-dripped all night and day.

No amount of tightening would resolve the problem, nor would wrapping the shower head in towels do the job. They only became saturated, filtering the drips until the inevitable moment when the drips saturated the towel, picked up drip-speed and rapidly splattered onto the shower stall floor all over again. There was no escaping the annoying sound. I covered my head with a blanket to get some sleep. So did the dog.

The last straw came Sunday, though. That’s when the tide began rising in the downstairs bathroom.

Sadie the basset hound, who usually looks worried, looked especially worried. She stays in the basement when I go off to work. I thought I saw her glancing nervously from the old couch cushion she sleeps on downstairs to the bathroom door, and back again.

I’m pretty sure she was thinking of scenes from Titanic, such as when Rose was rescuing her beau, who was chained to a pipe on a lower deck of the sinking ship. Rose was wading through waist-deep water to bring the axe she had fetched to cut the handcuffs off her trapped guy.

Every time a door was opened in the movie, water gushed out. Maybe Sadie was picturing herself in the beau’s predicament, trapped in a fast-filling space where she did not want to be.

I thought I saw her moving her front paws in imitation of a dog paddle. Good idea, just in case, I thought. She only lacked a Mae West inflatable vest.

Tuesday morning there was just too much water in that bathroom to ignore. It was time to call a plumber.

Though Nielsen Plumbing’s crew did not arrive on white horses, they might as well have. I think Sadie breathed a deep doggish sigh of relief as they pulled up, although at first she barked at the plumbers as though they were attempting to burgle our faucets and drains.

Not so.

They diagnosed several problems in a fast 15 minutes and got straight to work fixing them.

God love the plumber. They might have used one on the Titanic ... or not. There are some jobs even Nielsen can’t tackle.


Originally Published in The Cody Enterprise. March 3, 2010.