When the thermometer indicates three degrees, I know Ellie won’t be gone long during her morning constitution. Cold doesn’t bother her regularly, but the frozen, crusty snow tingles her toe pads a modicum more when she leaves the comfort of cozy carpeting.
She’s a sneak. Even if I don’t step outside with her, I can track her progress around the yard by watching the reflection of the motion lights through various house windows.
She must know I slack off in my concern when it gets colder. This morning, the motion light at the house’s far end kicked on, indicating that she was heading in a direction where my access was limited because her next stop was fifteen acres of forest and—possibly— some homes on the other side.
There are dogs there, and she hears them at night. During cold, clear weather, their voices carry. When Ellie heard me walk out on the deck, she turned quickly to come back. She doesn’t even wait for me to speak sharply.
She hears me coming because the noise is shocking when the deck boards crack in the cold weather, especially when this thundering lump of man flesh takes a few quick steps to aid in the settlement of the pressure-treated lumber made loose by the cold dryness surrounding us.
I watched her black buttocks spin around, her eyes reflecting the luminescence of excessive LED lighting, making her appear to be a snow demon preparing to gather a few cold souls.
She looks sweeter and more manageable when she pads her way up the stairs to my deck of overwatch. Her brown eyes averted away from me to show that she was sorry for seeking the sinful companionship of the unknown hounds on the other side of the hardwood. It could also be that I appeared to be a half-naked madman—no one wants to see that.
She expected a scolding, but it was too cold to stand in my boxers, and the morning light was rising so that passersby might notice a man wearing merely Hanes and Crocs giving his dog the devil for trying to make a break for social reasons.
I tossed her a biscuit and filled her bowl with her love language. I believe she was surprised not to be rebuked for the attempted break.
To my thinking, what kind of dog would I have been responsible for raising if she had not tried to meet her baying neighbors?
Yes, I’ve since showered and dressed; I am not an animal.
Have a fantastic Friday.
From the Jagged Edge of America, we remain,
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