Night Moves: Read at your own risk…it’s a bit long.
This is a little story about last night. I was sound asleep, enjoying my fuzzy tiger blanket when I suddenly woke up to hear the huskies throwing a fit. Now, for most people with dogs, that would probably be incessant barking, etc. With the husky, this amounts to whining, running at warp speed, and panting like they are down to the last dog biscuit.
I looked at the clock, and it was 1:49 AM. I drug myself out of bed because I knew it wasn’t going to end unless I went outside to see what the commotion was. The dogs kept coming through the pet door, jumping on the bed as if to say, “Look what we found!”
We live in the woods, and it’s not unusual to have deer herds passing by. The scent of deer makes my male perk up his ears and sniff the air like there is a female dog in heat nearby. Cooper caves into his primal instincts and wants to chase them even if he will never catch them. It’s a dog thing, and I got up to see what was going on.
I peered out the back sliding door and saw…well darkness! Cooper and Nikki had their ears pricked forwards across the driveway into the woods. I got a flashlight and still saw nothing. I got back in bed after a few $%*&#$^& words with them.
I drag two dogs in and force them to stay in the basement with me. Lock the pet door and try to go back to bed. It’s now 1:30 AM, and I wanted to get some sleep, but that wasn’t going to happen. The dogs go into ADHD mode. Whining, and pacing around, and driving me nuts. They will bark if a person is skulking around, and we’ve had some of those. So, I start worrying about who the hell is out on my property?
The mind does funny things, especially at O’ dark thirty in the morning. I realize this isn’t going away until I solve the game of “Clue” my dogs are giving me. So, in PJ bottoms, tennis shoes with no socks, and a black shirt, I gear up. I go back outside, armed with a pistol and a flashlight.
I was thinking it might be some desperate folks trying to break into the house and steal our toilet paper, or the stack of 10-year-old fruitcakes packed in tins I kept for emergency rations for just such a pandemic. I creep up to the fence where the dogs are peering into the dark with their night vision quality eyes. I still don’t see anything and let loose with some more choice words.
They run to the front yard, and I creep out in full soldier of fortune mode. My left-hand holding the flashlight away from my body. That’s in case someone shoots at the light it won’t hit me. I clutch my Berretta in my right hand, with the flee or fight feeling coming on strong. It’s now 2:01 AM, and I’m determined to end this one way or the other.
If someone wants my toilet paper that bad, they are going to have to fight for it! They can have the fruitcakes grandma sent, but I draw the line at our toilet paper supplies!
I find nothing but wet grass and fortunately didn’t disturb any Copperheads that prey at night. I was about to call it a night, but the dogs are still peering through the fence at…something. I shine my light against the basement foundations and see something curled up in a ball.
I keep looking through my foggy eyes, and it seems like one of my cats, or maybe a neighbors cat. I go back inside and look through the house to find my cat “Omar” sleeping on the sofa. He is a twin to whatever is outside. Safe that it’s not my cat who got out. I head back downstairs and out the door without the pistol. It’s now a varmint issue, and a 4′ long 1×1 pine board is the only weapon I need to get some sleep.
I creep up on the furball causing all the ruckus, and I can’t tell what it is yet. It’s now 2:25 AM, and I want this over. I tap the ball of fur on the side gently with my board, and it jumps up hissing with open mouth. Sharp white fangs were very noticeable in my flashlight. It hunches up to make itself look bigger than my fat housecat, and I take a step back, wondering if it’s rabid and I should have brought the gun?
It didn’t charge me, and I’m grateful for that. But then again it wasn’t moving either. I had to give it another push with the board to get it going. It hissed a fit but finally slunk off, and headed for the woods. The dogs wanted to chase it down and were crying like a baby with diaper rash, but once it was gone, things started to settle down.
It was a Fox kit, maybe 6 or 8 weeks old. Beautiful with golden fur and black legs. I guess it lost its mamma or froze when the dogs found out about it by the fence. Nobody was harmed except my sleep, and after the adrenaline in the dogs wound down, I got back to sleep around 3:00 AM.
And that concludes my 2-hour long night moves extravaganza. Don’t ignore your dogs, and they don’t act up without reason. I probably would have figured that out sooner if I hadn’t been so tired. It was just another day in Husky school for me.