The bond between pet and owner is a great one -- one filled with joy, acceptance, fun, and love. It can also have its moments of frustration and wonder of all kinds.
Like most Thursday evenings, I got home around 8:30. I had a headache building behind my right eye -- probably from the heat and hunger (I hadn't eaten since lunch). I was tired but looking forward to seeing my buddy. When I arrived home, Little Buddy came to greet me at the door. My dad was in the kitchen, preparing his breakfast. He doesn't want to wake the house each morning by cooking, so he does it the night before. I finished my dinner, and got on the computer for a few minutes to check up on e-mail and other things. My dad was on the phone with DirecTV, explaining that we had cancelled the NFL Sunday package -- so why were we being billed? A few minutes later, my mother said, "Hey, what is Maddox eating?" Far be it from her to get up to actually investigate... It was a napkin. Crazy, but no big deal. He has managed on several occasions to get into our kitchen garbage, no matter which way we've configured it to confuse him.
About 5 minutes later, my dad yells, "HEY!!!!! Did you give him a biscuit?" My first thought is, "No, the dog biscuits are on the shelf; did you SEE me give him one?" And then I hear, "You crazy dog!!!"
My crazy dog had managed to stand on his back legs and pull 4 slices of bacon off a plate on a stove (with a paper towel underneath for drainage). And THEN he got ONE biscuit out of the cooking pan. ONE biscuit out of 6. How he did that, I have no clue at all. My hand flew over my mouth in shock and in trying hard not to laugh at his ingenuity. Dad was not pissed but he wasn't happy about the thought of having to fry more bacon. My mother was wringing her hands as if that would make everything better. What could you do at that point?
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!!!!!!!!!!!
About 10 minutes after that, my dad said, "Hey, he needed to go out, so I let him out. You might want to check on him in a few minutes." No biggie. Lots of times lately, Maddox has been purely enthralled with hanging out in the yard at night to chase lightning bugs and grass moths. I, on the other hand, have no desire to become a mosquito buffet for 10 minutes waiting on him. So after a few minutes I went to retrieve him. He was standing in one place, completely focused on this one section, and pawing at something there. "Here, Maddox... Here, Maddox. Maddox! Here! (long pause) Look, Maddox, TREEEEEAT!" Nothing worked. So I got a leash from the backporch and just intended to bring him on in, even against his will. I got about 4 feet from him, when I heard this hellacious buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. I realized he was pawing at the buzzzzzzzzzzzzz. My first thought was, "Holy God. He's gotten a bee." But this thing was HUGE. Monstrous. I tapped on the window of the bathroom, praying my dad was out of the shower. He was. I asked him about it... "Oh, it's a July fly. No harm."
So I walked down, leashed Maddox and got him onto the backporch. Then I heard it coming from his mouth -- a muffled "bzzzzzzzzzzz." He had the damn thing in his mouth! My dad was there and got him to drop it. It was this ghastly big thing with wings. Basically, a "July fly" is an annual (or dog-day) cicada. Gak! Gak! Gak!!! All I could think about was how many germs that thing might be carrying that would now find their way into my dog's system.
We brought him in and finally calmed him down for the night. WHEW!
BUT IF YOU HANG ON FOR TEN MORE MINUTES, YOU'LL GET AN ADDITIONAL STORY!!!!!!!!!!!
Picture it: 3:45 AM on a steamy Southern night. A girl lies sleeping in her bed when suddenly, a night light in the back foyer comes on. She sees her dog there.
Yep. Maddox was up and nosing at me. I got him to lie back down. No go. He was up again, and I thought, "Oh great. That dadgum beastly bug has gotten to his stomach and now he's gotta go poop." Off in the distance, I heard a weird noise. Almost like a child's yelp. Whatever -- my dog was going for the door. So I let him onto the back porch. He ran to the other door that leads to the yard. I couldn't open it fast enough for him. I thought, "Great. Another case of the 'doggie runs'...."
Instead of pottying, Maddox ran to the far end of the fence facing the street and barked twice. Off in the distance, I heard more dogs barking. No surprise. Within 2 blocks, God only knows how many dogs there are. There are about 10 or so just on our block. Then Maddox came running like mad back over to my side at the house, barked once at the street and emits a low growl. But there was nothing there. He ran to the door for the porch, and I swear he acted as if he were going to break the door down to get back inside. Once we were on the porch, he gave me this look that was pure fear. We got inside and he stood at the gate -- he needed to be on the other side (in the main part of the house). Not knowing what else to do, I let him through.
He went into the living room and into my brother's bedroom.... check: one body there. Then over to my parents' room... check: two bodies there. He knew I was there. It took a treat and my mother to help lure him back to his bed. It was so strange. I can't imagine what would have provoked the need to run outside and bark at something there, and then to do a headcount of the family to make sure we were all okay. I wasn't sure if he'd dreamed something, or if something told him to check on us. Who knows? There could have been something lurking in the dark. God knows, I'd gotten a little creeped out on our walk the other morning.
I'm just glad for my dog -- for the entertainment, for the affection and love, and for his watchful care over us. Six months ago, if you'd told me I'd have a dog and that he would be this great thing for us, I'd have laughed. I would have been SO wrong!