As I write, the Pooch is curled up on his favorite chair next to the windows in Dawn's studio. This is unusual behavior. At 7:00 am he'd already be outside making his peremptory early morning check of the perimeter, smelling the steps to the deck to determine what furry animal invaded his territory and finally climbing up on the railing to peer in the kitchen window with that, "I'm starving look."
He was outside all night. More and more, his behavior is becoming erratic. Dawn and I discuss the situation. It's like living with a teenager-which he is- in dog/cat years. At nine last night Dawn finishes wash she left in the dryer too long. The high humidity of the past four days gives it a musty smell. I walk upstairs to read. I'm disgusted. Calling the cat in at dusk gets no results. I'm weary of interrupting my evening to walk up to the neighbor's horse corral and ask Ron if he's seen the cat. I make a final check at dark. Dawn is asleep. I whistle for the Pooch. Usually I'm not too adept at whistling. I envy those people who can stick two fingers in their mouths and rip off an ear piercing shrill whistle. Tonight my puckered lips lets out a good enough tootle that echoes off the hills. No cat. Darn cat.
I wake at five am. Another odd night of dreams of digging post holes and setting fence. Instead of using concrete, I'm using strawberry jam. I think it has something to do about worrying if my jam will set up. I slip on sweat pants and walk downstairs. At the outside door, I look out the window at the deck. The click of the doorknob lock alerts the Pooch. He's at the door before I can open it. In flash motion, he's at the dry food bowls in the kitchen. The previous afternoon, I'd bought chicken livers-his favorite. I thought when I went to bed, I'd be turning the liver into pate and looking for a dog to adopt. Darn cat.
Dawn and I decide that he'll not be allowed to sleep all day inside and prowl all night. It's too dangerous. Coyotes, for one, would find him a sweet meal. Many of the farmers here who raise beef cattle also have a donkey in the field with the Angus beef. There's the belief that donkeys will keep coyotes at bay. Therefore, I'll let him sleep until mid morning. Then he's out the door. If he keeps this up, I'll be looking for a dog like Buddy, the Amish dog.