A 5-Pound Dog Protected Me in the Dark of Night
I screamed from pure panic
It was 2 a.m. when Dagney scratched on the mirror to go out. A noise that wakes me and not my husband, go figure. I rolled out of bed and we headed outside. The second the door opened, Dagney charged out, but instead of heading towards the shop with the motion light like she usually does, she veered to the right. Thinking it strange, I grabbed the flashlight from the windowsill and shinned the spotlight around the yard.
Dagney was easily found but when she let out a low growl from the bowels of hell, I knew trouble was near. In case you have not met Dagney, let me introduce her. She is a 5-pound Yorkshire Terrier with an attitude. We have never had trouble with any of the critters around the cabin, so no precautions were necessary in the past. But last night, I envisioned a fox scavenging for dinner in my front yard, a bear finding dessert, or an owl flying away with a trophy all at the same time. The tune from The Wizard of Oz played in my mind: Lions and Tigers and Bears, OH, MY!
Thoughts 0f going inside to get my slippers evaporated when realized if I didn't keep the bead of light on Dagney, the darkness would swallow her. As a rule, when it is dark, she doesn't go out of the yard and returns when it when called. But when she started barking like a wild animal on steroids, her behavior did not play by the standard rules.
I yelled her name repeatedly only to be serenaded by her wailing, howling, and growling. Abruptly, I did the most logical thing I could think of at the moment. I started screaming my husband's name. When thinking about it now, I realize, if he hadn't already heard the barking, he wasn't going to hear my voice.
In hot pursuit, my scantily covered body flew off the deck. The moment my bare feet touched the jagged rocks in the driveway a jolt of pain ran from my bare feet to my brain messaging the flaws of that idea. The reality that I would never catch my dog or protect her dressed in PJ's forced me back to the deck. I yelled my husband's name again, louder.
Somehow in all the ruckus, my flashlight landed on something moving down the driveway . . . followed by Dagney. At least the form moved in the opposite direction, so it was the prey not the predator, causing me to relax a little.
Then, I identified the white, fluffy tail that stood straight up in the air as the creature bobbed down the road. Skunk. By the size of its tail, I concluded big skunk. Dagney followed in pursuit but trailed a few feet behind. I did notice that when Flower paused, I named the skunk, Dags stopped in midmotion. Maybe she had a plan.
The minute Flower passed the invisible boundary line that Dagney identified as out of bounds, my little girl twirled around with her head up high and trotted back to the house like nothing happened. My first reaction forced me to sniff the air, wary that she may be returning perfumed by the scent of Flower. I suppose she was proud that she had chased the intruder away, so she jumped into my arms and happily announced her return with a wet lick. Thankfully, she smelled like bath perfume and not rotten petunia.
I figured she hadn't relieved herself but then thought maybe she was really a woman on a mission. Her senses alerted her to danger and she planned to chase away the intruder. Maybe everything went according to her plan. Either way, there was no way I was letting her loose again. When I entered the bedroom, my husband laid snoring as if nothing had happened. I suppose nothing violent had occurred in his dreams.
Of course, I woke him up to share the experience with all the excitement and exuberance needed for him to feel included. He mumbled, "Sorry," rolled over and went back to sleep. I mumbled something but since he didn't hear it then, I will not repeat it now.
Two hours later, when Dagney scratched on the mirror, I hit Randy's shoulder hard and said, "Your dog needs to go outside." Figure before I venture out in the middle of the night, I will need a plan that will make me look as brave as my dog or maybe just a little bit less ridiculous.
My retirement hobby is to write stories that make readers laugh and appreciate the love of their furfriends.
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About the author
Stories about life that inspire emotions - mostly humor.
Lessons about writing based on my textbook, Strategies for Teaching Writing.
Poetry and essays about the of art of being human.
I write therefore, I am.