Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Jack the Red Heeler
Last night we had a bit of excitement. Jack, our new puppy, woke me up with his barking. It was a scared bark with a few little high-pitched yelps. Coming out of dead sleep, I thought a coyote was attacking him. I jumped out of the bed yelling for him, opened the door, and called to him. He came running and dove into the house. I checked to see if he was hurt, but he was not. I turned on the outside light to scare off any coyotes or critters. Zoe, the Great Dane, sleepily came out of storeroom without barking or growling. I figured whatever danger had been there was gone, and I put Jack back out. Rather than going back to bed like Zoe, Jack took off around the corner of the house barking again. This time his bark was more serious and braver. I took off after him. He had something cornered against the front of the house, but I could not see what. I was afraid it was a snake. If it were a skunk, Jack would already have been in trouble. I ran back inside for the spotlight (every good redneck has one). By this time Toby was up and already had the spotlight and was headed out the other door with me following him (kind of a Tom and Jerry running around the house). When Toby hit the light, Jack had an armadillo cornered. It was as if Jack needed our approval or maybe our support, but now he was ferocious. Toby praised Jack for his watchdog ability and bravery. Jack chased the armadillo almost to the pond - nipping at its heels as he went. I didn’t like Jack going that far out in the pasture at night, because a coyote really could get him. I called him back to the house and let him in. As we got back into bed Toby said, “Is that dog in the house?” I replied that Jack was in the house, but not in our bed. Even in the dark, I knew Toby was rolling his eyes. He and Jesse accuse me of spoiling our dogs. Maybe I do, but I just could not stand to think of him out there chasing armadillos and getting eaten by coyotes.
Where was Jesse in all of this? She came out of her room, stood in the living room looking around, but then went back to bed. This morning she said, “What was going on last night?” It reminded me of the time about ten years ago when our puppy, a Great Pyrenees, was barking at night. Toby shot off a gun (over her head) to shut her up. Jesse heard the gunshot. Not knowing what was going on, but thinking she didn’t want to get shot, she got in the floor and went back to sleep. I really don’t think she was ever quite awake.
Another funny thing that happened yesterday evening was the wind. When Toby got home from work, there was very little wind. We decided to take advantage of the nice evening and go for a bike ride. We did about a ten mile ride with a southwesterly breeze that did not bother us. As we neared the end of our ride, we turned north on the road to our house. There are two big hills and gullies to ride through to get to our driveway. I was doing great. It was the second big hill that the wind shifted and suddenly blew from the north. I barely made it up the hill with the wind hitting me hard. My bike was almost at a standstill , and the peddles getting me nowhere. As Toby slowly peddled past me, I asked, "Am I going backwards?" No where but OK can the weather change so abruptly.