I don’t know if this really qualifies as a gratitude post but it’s too funny not to share. If you’re frequent reader, you’ll know that I spend a lot of time on my own because my husband travels, and have as my constant companions a pair of Westie dogs.
They are great company, these dogs. They are big dogs packed in little bodies, with all the ferocity and charm that terriers always have. They’re so cute, in fact, and so smart that I sometimes forget that they’re actually dogs. Until last night, anyway.
My little boy Chuffy has always been quite the hunter and in fact has at least once taken down a full size rabbit. (Much to my dismay when I found him covered in gore and the remains of the rabbit all over the yard. He was very proud of himself).
His little sister Chloe, on the other hand, usually plays the role of cheerleader and is quite happy to stay on the deck while Chuffy does the fighting, although she’s happy to chase any rabbit that happens to come into the yard.
At night, our backyard is pretty dark because we have a big deck that blocks the light to the yard below. Because we back to open space, our neighborhood is filled with rabbits and coyotes. It’s not unheard of to have the occasional bear or mountain lion either. As a result, I’m not too keen on letting the dogs out after dark. But nature does call, so out they went. Chuffy came back first, and a few minutes later, there was a ruckus in the yard, as Chloe cornered something and proceeded to bark at it. Loudly.
“Great,” I think. Here I am, all alone, about to go save my dog from a coyote or a mountain lion or a bear or who knows what else. This is when a husband, son, or at least a working flashlight would come in handy, but I had none of the above. So, out I went, into the dark, to fetch the ferociously barking little dog and rescue her from whatever was trying to eat her.
Back inside, as both of our hearts started to pound less loudly, I began to wonder what it was that she had cornered. I saw no evidence of anything as big as a coyote or a mountain lion but I didn’t see a rabbit or a squirrel either. As for Chloe, she continued to bounce around the house as though hopped up on adrenaline from her encounter. (And given that she’s a Westie, ready to go back out. They were bred to chase vermin and have no fear).
This morning, as the dogs headed back out, I watched to make sure there were no critters in the yard. She trotted over and began to sniff heartily at the bottom of the drainage spout. At that moment, I realized that what I had “rescued” her from was likely a mouse that had taken shelter in the drainage spout to get away from the snarling, barking dog.
I’m grateful that it wasn’t a coyote, mountain lion, or bear. I’m equally grateful that no one was injured. I’m sure that whatever critter was in that drainage spout was very grateful when I pulled the dog back into the house. But I’m also a little embarrassed that I was scared (and yet brave) enough to go out and rescue her, thinking about what it could have been.
As for checking to see if it’s still in the drainpipe, that’s for a husband or adult son to look into. Remind me to take care of that flashlight one of these days.