Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My Night Visitor

All my dogs are in the house. But they're not all loose at the same time, for a number of reasons. First, they would all always be in the same room I'm in... and I have a very small bathroom. Second, the older I get, the harder it is to shove the bigger ones off the furniture AND I'm tired of tripping over the ones on the floor who barely lift their heads in acknowledgement when I stumble over their bodies. Then there's this whole dog breeding thing... I want my pups to come from the parents I have chosen for them. So, along with the food and water bowls in every room, I also have pens and a couple wire crates. Just so you know, the only crate that is in steady use and has the door closed is the one where my old toy Poodle camps out... he is slow, crotchety and fragile... not a good combination for being around big dogs.

Anyway, at night, most of the gang have room assignments and are always in x-pens with the same dog or dogs. As soon as the lights go out, you can hear a pin drop. It is amazing... even when there are puppies around, the lights are out and everyone is quiet. Which is why I've been so annoyed the last couple nights with several of my guys. In my so called dog room are my young adult Goldendoodle guy, Bachelor, a neutered adult Poodle named Sage, Sparky, my miniature Poodle, several rescue males AND Keogh, my Goldendoodle girl (Bachelor's mom.) In the middle of the night, out of the blue, Bach starts barking. The other guys take up the chorus. About the only voice I don't hear is Keogh's. After a minute or two... a loonnngg time at 4 AM... it gets quiet again. Then as soon as I've settled back down, it starts all over. Two nights in a row I've gotten out of bed, traipsed, IN THE DARK, down to the dog room and read them the riot act. Which worked one night but not the other. The first morning after, I checked Keogh to make sure she wasn't coming into season... a very exciting event for young MALE dogs... and she isn't. (She's not due for a month and a half to two months, but you know how things go around here.)

So last night, I was about ready to take the shotgun along with me when I went to shut everyone up. And I turned the lights on just to see the best shot. And decided maybe the dogs just wanted to go outside for a quick potty break. So I open the pens and everyone rushes passed me into the kitchen... which is the wrong direction for going outside. I turn around to yell at them and some of them rush back while others stay in a clump staring at the floor. Finally, I make my point and they all go outside. On the kitchen floor, however, is a blob of fur. Which turns out to be a possum, a juvenile possum, curled in a loose circle, mouth open, tongue kinda out. It's very pretty silver color (except for it's pinkish snout and hairless tail) and my first thought is "Oh, durn, they've killed the poor thing." The obvious thought, "That's what it gets for coming in a house full of dogs." doesn't occur for several minutes. So now I've got to get it picked up, in a plastic garbage bag and out of the house. But wait! Don't possum carry lice and other such critters... do I want to touch it?

No, I do not. My broom is right there so I sweep it through the kitchen and manage to get it over the thresh hold of the door to drop in the small trash can that is right outside. It is as this poor thing is airborne that I hear the slightest squeal. And realize I've seen NO blood anywhere. I quickly close... and lock... the kitchen door.

And in the morning, it's gone.

So now, before the lights go out at night, I have to shut the doors. A common practice for city people, I understand. But out here I usually only shut doors to keep the heat (or a.c.) in. And right now, our weather is glorious! But perhaps caution is in order. Maybe the wild critters know something about the coming Winter and are looking for a place to hole up. Maybe they need to keep looking!

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