Last night Honey and I were sitting on the deck deep in conversation with Bear (the dog) patiently sitting guard beside us. We normally start heading for bed by the time it gets dark; but sometimes we will sacrifice a little sleep time if the conversation is good. Last night, the issues of the day hadn’t been sufficiently hashed out yet, so we were deep in discussion. My chair was facing the back of the house toward the dark mountain and Honey’s was facing the front toward the road. I vaguely remember hearing the sound of a chipmunk in distress over my left shoulder. I thought about trying to find it, but it seemed to be in an area of the yard that is dense with saplings & brush. And the dark would make it impossible to find. As we continued to talk, the thought that the chipmunk’s screech would probably be like a dinner bell to the local coyotes. Almost immediately we all three heard a noise up at the edge of the yard, just inside the shadows of the mountain. Bear barked his ‘stay back’ warning and wagged his tail. Honey went inside for the gun without hesitation, and well my job was to sit and watch the commotion. Like I’ve said before, it just doesn’t seem to occur to me to get in the house when situations such as this come up. Honey was back in a flash, gun in hand, and scanning the shadows for any sign of movement. Bear would listen intently, give off another quick ‘I’m warning you’ bark, and then wag his tail slightly.
I figured that Honey was holding his own OK, so I started focusing on Bear. The behavior seemed oddly familiar. Then it hit me. Bear is about five years old now. Over the years we’ve talked about having him ‘fixed’, but for one reason or another we just never got around to it. He only goes outside when he’s with one of us. It’s very common in our area for people to walk their dogs up and down the dirt road, and whenever a ‘lady’ dog would go by … bear would give his impressive ‘I’m king of this mountain’ bark and wag his tail. Same behavior. While what I think might have been a female coyote was looking for dinner, our little ladies man was flirting. Now doesn’t that beat all? My only real concern was - where was her man?
Summer is quickly coming to an end. There are so many projects that we had planned, but never quite got around to. So it’s going to be a busy weekend here at the cabin. The weatherman promises everything will be dry and warm for the next few days. It’s a three-day weekend, so I’m hoping to see the chore list all checked off by next Tuesday.
Everyone have a wonderful Labor Day weekend! May the Lord bless you.