Sunday, June 23, 2013

To Project And To Swerve

Here's the latest scoop on my animals. My fleabags. My canines in particular. Because dogs are like kids: every blogger loves to write about them, even if folks don't want to read about them.

Ann the black shepherd has been up to her old tricks again. A few days ago, I noticed that she and Juno were competing for a shard of bone sticking in the crack between boards on the front porch. Who knows what kind of bone this was. Many fragments lay scattered along the wide expanse, a space bereft of rockers fit for whittling corncob pipes. I imagine they were the remains of a deer thigh bone left behind by our local poacher neighbor who has been given bow-hunting privileges on Hillmomban grounds.

I finished tossing stale bread to the chickens, not enough for the dogs to steal, and remembered that I had a bag of rawhide knotty bones on the laundry room shelf. I went in, and like a more successful Old Mother Hubbard, emerged with three. One for each dog. I tossed one to Juno, current gnawer of the porch shard. Ann stood at my feet whining, her usual anxious bundle of nerves. I dropped one on the deck for her. Tank the beagle sat to my right, leaning against the front wall under the #1 son's bedroom window. He's not much of a gnawer, and better known for biting goats who dare pick up a piece of yard bread before he can get to it.

I turned to see if Juno was enjoying her rawhide chew, just in time to see her run past me down the steps and around the house. She has a semi-fortress in the lava rocks beside the garage, between a big stump and a sideways cauldron. Farmer H fancies himself a yardscaper.

When I looked back, Ann had two rawhide chews stacked in her mouth, and Tank had none. I was sure that by late afternoon, Ann would be carrying three knotty fake bones around with her. I think it's her Lab half that gives her these ideas.

Sure enough, the next day, when I returned home with my precious 44 oz. Diet Coke, there was Ann walking around with a muddy rawhide chew. I think she probably dug up Juno's treat. Ann is the biggest, and might makes right.

But listen to THIS! These dogs bark incessantly from 2:00 a.m. to 7:00. They never DO anything. They just bark. I don't know who they think they're foolin'. So there I was, sitting on the end of the coffee table that is missing a coffee table book about coffee tables, reading the internet news of the day on my laptop. I have a grand view of the whole front acreage. The dogs started in. Tank began with his annoying baying. Then Ann with her syncopated bark that never matches up with Tank's. And shortly thereafter my sweet, sweet Juno added her whine-bark-whimper.

I looked up to see what imaginary foe they were thwarting with sound waves, and saw a German Shepherd strut through the front yard. He lives down at the bottom of the hill, and makes a round through our yard every couple of days. That I know of. He's not a chicken eater, and not a dogfood stealer, just walks through like he owns the place, and doesn't bother much of anything. My dogs gave chase, Tank in the lead, all man-of-the-Mansion, acting like a real badbutt. Then he stopped. Ann charged after him, then stopped a few feet in front to stare down the intruder. Who was leisurely trotting along without a break in stride.


She charged past Tank and Ann, ran right up on the interloper, and jabbed him in the haunch with her snout. It was like goosing him, I guess. Because that proud German Shepherd broke into a run and high-tailed it across our driveway and over to the gravel road. Juno chased him to the property edge.

My little girl is growing up.


Chickadee said...

Juno like she's growing up to become the bravest one of the group too. It sounds like it's just a matter of time before she chases that German Shepherd out for good.

Sioux said...

Juno's a keeper, for sure. She's full of piss and vinegar and won't back down when it comes to protecting the mansion.

Hillbilly Mom said...

Juno defends the porch from the daily chicken invasion when she thinks we're not watching. Scrabbling claws, pounding feet, squawking and fluttering tell us the truth.

She came here with nothing, and now this estate is hers, and she'll be doggoned if a purebred usurper is going to take that all away.