A Dog Story From A Dog’s Life

A Dog Story

I will admit to not always being the nicest person in the world. As I get older, and older, I no longer feel constantly compelled to go out of my way for other people, especially if those people are ones I find generally annoying.

So it is in this story, which I’ll tell quickly rather than dragging it out for 5,000 words [trust me, I could do that]. Anyone who has been to our house in the past two years has met our dogs. One doesn’t get a choice. While it’s possible to miss a cat or two, depending on the time and how long one stays, no one misses the dogs. They won’t let themselves be missed.

They’re good boys, both of them. One’s a hound, the kind one might take hunting if one were of the mind to do so. He’s an endurance animal who can run forever. The other is a pit/lab mix. He’s more of a sprinter who looks fierce as hell but actually is the biggest snuggle bug in the house. He’s convinced he’s supposed to live in someone’s lap.

A Dog Story
Belvedere and Hamilton

Because our dogs like to run and bark at anything, I rarely pay too much attention to the noise they’re making outside. Unless I hear the shouts of a human in the mix, I assume that they’re just issuing warnings to anyone, or anything, they think might try to invade their yard, especially squirrels. 

On Fridays, the garbage trucks run through our neighborhood in multiples. The dogs tend to be vocal at trucks of any kind, but the sanitation workers riding the back of the trucks talk back to the dogs so they’re especially loud when those trucks come through. We’ve grown used to it and rather ignore the noise the dogs make on Fridays. As long as the dogs are secured inside the fence, everything’s cool.

The dogs have also enjoyed the cooler weather this week. There have been days when they only came inside to eat then wanted right back out. I don’t mind too much. When they’re outside, one can safely sit on the sofa without risking 70 pounds of wiggle jumping into your lap. 

This afternoon, they had been lying around outside, enjoying the weather, when something grabbed their attention. First it was the mail carrier, who they always “talk” with in a loud and obnoxious manner. Then, it was a neighbor walking his little morsel of a dog on the other side of the street. There were enough people coming and going, along with the garbage trucks, that I tuned out all their barking.

However, around 2:30 I became aware that the guys had been barking non-stop for several minutes. What was more strange is that they weren’t barking at the same thing. Belvedere was at the front of the house and Hamilton was at the side gate. Both were running back and forth along the fence line, making sure whatever was out there knew that the border was not to be breached.

Then, in a most uncharacteristic move, I heard Hamilton move to the front of the house, right next to the front door. Typically, the dogs stay right at the fence. They don’t back down. Hamilton had moved and his bark now had a bit of a growl to it, indicating he was upset by something. Perhaps it was time I took a look.

At first I didn’t see the cause of the problem. Hamilton had taken off around the side of the house again, out of view and, to make the story bizarre, Belvedere was barking at a young man standing at the front gate with a fishing pole. There is not a fishable body of water anywhere near us so I can understand why the dog was confused.

While I can see out the windows, however, seeing in, especially from the street, is almost impossible during the day. When a neighbor across the street came out to see what the commotion was about, the young man asked her if anyone here was home. She replied that she wasn’t sure, but warned the young man to not mess with the dogs. 

I’m sitting here giggling. At this point, I still don’t know why the young man with the fishing pole is at our gate. Obviously, he feels some need to come inside the fence but the dogs are making sure that he’s not going to get the chance.

A Dog Story
Outside, on patrol

I get up and walk to the kitchen to refill my coffee. That’s when I see the second young man, a little heavier and with large knit cap on his head, the point of the cap sticking up in such a way I’m reminded of the Coneheads skits from Saturday Night Live

Now I’m laughing. This is the most entertainment I’ve seen outside in quite a while. I told you, I’m not always nice. I could see no good reason for the young men to come into our yards and the dogs were doing exactly what they’re supposed to do. Why would I disturb that?

When I returned to the front window, though, I finally saw what had the young men so concerned about getting into the yard. There, in the grass, was a small drone. Not the expensive commercial kind, mind you. One that they had probably picked up at Target or some similar place for $30 or so. It’s batteries had failed, right over our yard. The fishing equipment was an unsuccessful attempt to snag the drone without having to physically cross the fence.

By now, the boys had a look of desperation on their face. Between barks, I could hear them contemplating whether to just leave the drone and come back when they saw a vehicle in the driveway. Understandably, they were a bit worried that the dogs might destroy the drone in their absence. 

I took a giant sip of the coffee and decided to go save the drone before the young men took a risk they might regret. The look of relief on their faces was priceless and they were exuberant in expressing their thanks. They promised to make sure the drone would never land in our yard again and headed back toward their home.

Hamilton chased the young men around the fence to make sure they were actually leaving while Belvedere looked up with an expression that seemed to ask, “But what am I supposed to play with now?” Both dogs followed me back inside, promptly jumping on the couch so they could both try to fit into my lap. 

Dogs are so much fun and the older I get the more entertained I am by just how fearful people are by these two snuggle butts. Granted, I’ve little doubt that they would not be kind to anyone who did dare to cross the fence without Kat or I out there. They are extremely protective, especially when the kids are present. Still, they’re not the ferocious beasts our neighbors seem to think.

I’m the only one here who’s mean.

A Dog Story

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