I've been a bit of a "naughty girl", and Mum and Dad are none too pleased with me.
We had a trip to the creek, on the very hottest day we've seen so far. It was all fun and games, Mum and Dad lounging on a rock in the water, while I swam all over the place, getting out occasionally to shake myself in their vicinity and share some of the refreshingly cool creek water with them.
After a while, the water began to lose its initial allure and I decided to explore some bushes and a rock wall. It was rich with all sorts of scents, and I could barely keep up with it all, dashing from one to the next. Before I knew it, I found myself way up high, on a narrow ledge, and there were Mum and Dad, still sitting on the rock, but now looking to be about the size of miniature poodles. They were calling my name, and I think, saying something about how I'd better get down, RIGHT NOW! But they were so small and far away, it was hard to really tune in and focus. Then I realized that the ledge I was on was really narrow, and I must have jumped across a gap in the rock to get there, and in the other direction was a big cactus it was hard to get past, and I got dizzy thinking about it all. Suddenly I wanted to get back down to Mum and Dad, but my legs started shaking and I was afraid of slipping, so I sat down to wait for Dad to come and get me, and that silly whining noise I used to do when I was in the shelter started coming out of my mouth.
It took Dad ages to climb all the way up there. Sometimes I feel so sorry for my people. They seem to have such a hard time doing the simplest of things with those hefty boots they wear on their feet, to say nothing of the major shortfall of only having two legs. He arrived a few feet from where I was, covered in scratches and panting very hard. Mum was down below, with her soothing voice, telling me to wait for Dad and that I'd be okay.
So now I was one side of the gap, and Dad was on the other, and that was how it stayed because, apparently, Dad weighs more than me and couldn't step on the rock overhang. He wanted me to just jump back over the gap, but I got really scared just thinking about it, so I tried crawling along a shelf just above where Dad was. This ended up going nowhere, and was covered in pack rat poop, which made me even more scared. Of all the critters there are around here, pack rats are my least favorite. They give me the willies just smelling their scent, and started my legs wobbling all over again. I tried the shelf option several times, every time Dad would call me, but I just ended up getting rat poop all over me. Yuck!
I was getting very tired and thirsty, so I lay down for a bit, and Mum said she had an idea. She came back with a donut. Yippee! She started throwing pieces up to me, but Mum can't throw for toffee and they were always just out of my reach. In fact they kept falling right at the edge of the gap I didn't want to jump over. It took all my skills to slide myself along to where they were and reach my tongue out, so I could snatch them up without having to leave my safe spot. I started to get the impression that Mum was actually aiming the donut pieces at the edge of the gap so that I would have to jump over to get them. Well, I wasn't falling for that one! After all that exertion, I lay down for another rest. Mum had used up all the donut so she went off to think up another plan.
Mum was starting to get upset (and that's never fun to see, I can tell you), and next thing I heard was her on the phone to Marta Williams. Now, for those of you animals who don't already know, Marta is what the humans call an "Animal Communicator". What that means is that she can have a conversation with us, just like a real dog can, which is very exciting. The first time Mum and Dad put her in touch with me, after the "mushroom incident", (more about that another time) I couldn't stop talking. She told Mum and Dad I was a "Chatty Kathy", whatever that means. Maybe she's not so smart after all, since everyone knows my name is Ruby. Anyway, that's the good part. The bad part is that with Marta, there's no pretending you don't understand because she can read all your mind pictures. It's not like when Mum and Dad tell you to do something and you can just pretend you don't quite get it. She speaks very clearly and there's no mistaking what she says.
Anyway, when I heard Mum was on the phone to Marta, I thought the game was almost over. It would have been great to chew things over with her for a while, but before long, I know I would have blurted out about the easy path down the other side. Oops! The one Mum and Dad hadn't noticed yet. And there was still a chance Mum had some more donut stashed away, so I didn't want to ruin my chances of scoring some more of that treat. I NEVER get to eat donuts under normal circumstances, so this wasn't a chance to be passed up. My luck was in. Marta wasn't home.
Dad decided to try some other options, so next thing I know he's down below another part of the ledge, and has found a way to climb up so he can almost touch me. Mum is telling him to grab my collar and I realize they're planning on hauling me down on Dad's shoulders. Not likely! I may have looked like a complete wuss, but there are limits to what a dog will go through. My pride was at stake, and more to the point, I had noticed a couple of things that changed the situation. 1. The heron I'd had my eye one ever since we'd arrived, was now somewhere down below within chasing distance. 2. Most importantly, I noticed when Mum was throwing the donut, that quite a few pieces had fallen short and were now lying somewhere on the ground below begging to be eaten. As Dad made a grab for my collar, I did a quick about turn and headed for the easy descent. Dad was now having trouble getting back down himself, so while Mum and Dad were busy with that operation, I skipped down the rocks, sniffed out the treats and got a belly full before they had even figured out what had happened!
Needless to say, they weren't at all pleased when they found me, especially when they discovered that I had rolled in some rather ripe racoon poop (I had to get rid of that pack rat smell somehow). I started to get a sneaking suspicion that they were now doubting I had really been in trouble up there in the first place. I was, honestly, but, well, you know how it is when you're getting all the attention and you kind of forget what it was that started it all off? It was kind of like that. And then when the donut throwing started...
I think I'll have to lay low for a bit until they forget about it. It will probably be a good idea not to try that one again, at least not this side of summer, anyway.