Friday, January 11, 2008
Holidays And Varmints
Hello, everyone! Do you like Christmas? I do! Mum and Dad put a tree in the house that’s all green like the trees outside, but it doesn’t have sticky stuff that gets in my fur like some of the outside ones do. They put lights and hang shiny, sparkly things all over it. But that’s not the best part. I know to sniff all around the tree and inspect it very carefully because I always find special Ruby treats hidden in the branches!
If you’ve never seen me unwrap a present, let me tell you, I’m good at it. Paper and ribbons and bows can’t keep me out when there’s a treat to eat. Mum and Dad make movies of me sometimes when they hand me a present, but I like it best when I can do my special snatch-and-snarf without waiting for any silly pictures. I just reach out, grab the wrapped treat, tear it open with a little flick of my head and get my jaws on it. From branch to gullet takes less than a second. That’s professionalism.
When Monty was here just after Christmas he nearly knocked the tree over while we were playing. He’s a bit clumsy, that boy, and he might have eaten something off the tree he wasn’t supposed to, like a chocolate ball, which is supposed to be for Mum and Dad, but all in all he was pretty good staying off it. I made sure to hunt down all the treats before he got here ‘cause I knew what could happen if Monty thought the tree was something to eat. I can’t bear to think about it.
All the people came to sing on Christmas Eve and I had to wear my Christmas cape and hat. Bit boring, but I did manage to sneak a few scraps of yummies I might not have asked for while no one was looking. The next day we had to go to another party at Windy’s house. She always makes a big fuss over me and I love it. There was turkey at that one.
(Guess I won't be wearing this Christmas hat again! Now I wonder how that could have happened?)
The other night it rained and was all drippy cold. My Mum figured she could just let me out in the front yard to pee since I don’t really like it when it’s so wet. She thought I’d come right back to the house. But I got a brilliant idea. Those yappy dogs Cheech and Chong who live around the corner always make such a ferocious racket when I go past on my leash walk. First they yell and taunt me. I just ignore them. Then they get so worked up barking at me that they turn on each other. By the time I’m past their house it sounds like they’re tearing each other limb from limb. It’s a bit over the top, really.
So I saw in a flash this was a great chance to get even. I looked over my shoulder at Mum who immediately saw I was going to bolt. She started yelling just as I took off in the dark. I hid under the neighbors’ bushes while Mum came after me with a flashlight. I almost came out – she sounded so worried – but I was on a mission. She went round the block a couple of times while I ran the back way to Cheech and Chong’s. Those boys were going to get a first-class razzing from outside their fence, the kind they’ve been giving me for two-and-a-half years.
Well, call me a housecat. I looked and sniffed everywhere. Those little sock puppets were nowhere to be seen. Or heard. Must have been away. They would have smelled me even if they had been inside being little wussy dogs. They would have started that high-pitched raspy growling that sounds like weasels with indigestion.
Mission wasted. I felt downright silly. Worrying Mum like that. She was still calling my name all over the neighborhood. What to do? Just then I heard Dad! He was out in the street in front of the yappies’ house calling me like he knew right where I’d gone. He wasn’t even home when I ran off. How did he know? Well anyway, I was glad to go home with him since it was Mum I ran away from. We all know that’s how the naughty game works.
That was all fun and games but I worried myself just a little when I went after that big coyote the other day. The one that lurks in the bushes or stalks me on the street during my leash walk before bedtime. It’s all sleek and smug and healthy looking, not scrawny and desperate like those gray trash ones that slink around in a big pack at night. This one watches me and knows how to get my goat. Well it’s not hard, really. Just existing is bad enough for a coyote.
So there it was in broad daylight when Mum and Monty and me went on our off-leash forest romp one afternoon. I chased it. It chased me. We rolled in the bushes. We each landed a few cuffs and scratches. One of us yelped. Way in the distance I could hear a tiny voice that sounded like Mum’s. I was in trouble here. I knew it but I just can’t help myself around coyotes. I have to chase them. I have to fight, I just have to. But they fight way different than I do. Their teeth are so sharp. They work toward my belly and my hamstrings. Like they want to kill me.
Just then I heard a roar nearby. So did the coyote. It couldn’t get off me fast enough. It scampered away while I got up to see what the big noise was. It was Monty. He came to save me! He’s usually afraid of his own shadow. All shadows really. He gets completely panicky when Mum goes around a corner inside the house. The littlest dogs intimidate him. But here he was rescuing me. And Mum running up behind him.
When we got back to the car Monty didn’t need any help like he usually does jumping in the back. He just ran and leapt in like a real man dog. My hero!
At home Mum found the cuts and scratches on me plus about a million cactus spines. Dad was all concerned when he heard about it. Monty was the toast of 420 until he went home a few days later.
Did I learn? No way! That coyote and I had another tussle two days later. Now I’m not allowed on that trail. But who cares – Dry Creek is a raging torrent after all the rain and snow. I love it down there. But that’s another story.