Biscuit woke me before my alarm this morning, with her “woo-woo-woo” bark – somebody is in the yard. I could hear Badges intermittent “rat-a-tat” right behind her. And from over the fence, the neighbor’s old dog joined in. Somebody was prowling around out there.
My husband went to the windows to give a whistle – that will do it if it’s just a neighbor getting into a car or shutting a door. But they were oblivious, too interested in whatever they were scenting. That usually means raccoon snooping around the compost hole, or a rat in the shed.
They have an entirely different bark for a cat in a tree, that’s a happy bark. Raccoon, rats, opossum – those animals are creepy in the dark, with red eyes, the dogs get uneasy and the bark is nervous and tense.
I was already awake, had my empty stomach ache, stiff bones, so I got up to see what the commotion was about. The intruder didn’t wait for me to pull on my sweats, grab clean socks, scoot down stairs into my yard shoes. He was gone by the time I got to the patio, but the dogs were over by my clothesline, all a-titter. That’s Raccoon – he is persistently after my in-ground worm bin composter.
Tough shit Buddy, I put a good lid on there this time, you ain’t going to figure it out, you little interloper. And it’s going to take a lot more digging in that hard ground too. You might as well go back to tipping over garbage cans and snooping into cat doors, you little trespasser!
And stop shitting on the tree in my front yard! I know it’s you!
So, there I was, standing out in the back yard at 4:45 am, wide awake! I went back into the apartment to find I’d already turned on the coffee pot – I just love that about myself, always thinking about Me! I took my cuppa java back downstairs, and stood in the yard for a minute trying to focus on the stars. It’s funny how it looks like there’s none at first, but as I stand there making a bead with my old eyeballs, they appear slowly.
And there was Taurus the Bull, his red eye staring down at us, as if to catch our attention. Behind him on the horizon came Orion the Hunter. Before I could make out his shield he had faded in the morning sun.
That means, Orion and his dogs will walk by day, and you know what that means – Dog Days.
I don’t mind being ignorant and superstitious about some things – makes life more interesting. In my rational, educated mind, I know Dog Days is just a segment of the Earth’s movement around the sun. But as I get older, and I see more things, I believe more and more – Dog Days make people and dogs go crazy. You just watch, you’ll get what I’m saying.
Yesterday my husband and I made a trip over to the post office, bank, Safeway – usual errands. At Safeway we encountered former head of the California Democratic Party, husband of our 30 year county supervisor, friend and confidant of such Democratic luminaries as Tom Hayden, Chico’s own Bob Mulhullond. I know, he’s old, and the old bod is getting kind of loose and shaky, but there’s something about the way that man carries himself that comes off as nutty behavior. He moves like a Quentin Blake caricature. The BFD? He stalks around the store, sometimes carrying an empty shopping basket, and always a piece of paper that looks like a shopping list. Yesterday he just had the slip of paper. He looked at it as he wandered the store, stopping here and there to scrutinize. He walks right into your body space without seeming to notice you are alive. One day we encountered him stretched out on the floor in an aisle, staring into a shelf of cans. He was taking a can out now and then and lining them up on the floor. He seemed to be in a real study. Then all the sudden he got up, grabbed his empty shopping basket, and leaving the cans lined up on the floor, jaunted off around the corner.
Yesterday, my husband theorized, Mulhullond was price shopping. Really? Okay, I’ll buy that. But it looks crazy. Maybe it’s just me, or maybe it’s Dog Days, hard to figure.
We’ll see how wild it gets as the temps boost this week – ready for more 105 + ?
Seriously, I’ll remind you to keep an eye on your dogs in this heat, don’t take them out after about 9am, leave them at home with a shady tree and a baby pool full of cool water. People don’t seem to realize how hot the ground gets, and that dogs get overheated quicker than humans.