The Beasts of the Backyard

MH900446578It’s why we live on the Texas Gulf Coast, those rare perfect weather days.  The temperature is 75, the fields have been mowed and I smell fresh cut grass and  hear flocks of geese as they fly in formation from the inland lakes back to the reedy marshes of the Gulf.  Of course tomorrow the temperature could be 80 or 40 with rain and 50 mph winds, but today is beautiful and my dogs are making me laugh.

My dogs love it as well and spend a good bit of their day lying out in the sun in the cool temperatures – as long as I leave the back door open. For some reason, however, if I close the back door, they rush the door and start banging on it to be let in. Once inside, they fight over who gets to lie in the slim beam of sunlight on the floor. I have two theories about their reasoning in this matter. Either they think that if the door is closed they will miss out on a possible snack because they can’t hear us opening the pantry door (because the last bite of any snack is always shared 7 ways) or they think if the door closes, then they will be abandoned to the outside forever. The first theory has some validity, but the second is just absurd, which guarantees it’s the right one. Now, these are dogs that have lived inside our house since the day they came to our home, they each have their own bed, they lay on our couches and watch TV and there is abundant food available to them at any time. However, let that door close and suddenly they act like orphans from Oliver Twist. “Please please don’t abandon us to the wilds of the backyard, cruel mistress. Our soft padded feet are meant for better things and we are without our sweaters. We are delicate flowers at your mercy and have no snacks.”

It’s just not nice weather days when they act ridiculous about the backyard. Let there be someone working out back which means I have to keep them in the house (in order not to annoy the workers with the substantial amount of canine digging assistance that will be offered) and you will see 7 noses of varying sizes pressed against the glass like they’ve never been allowed outside a day in their life. This, of course, is after they’ve acted like blood thirsty devil dogs snarling and barking when they first see the workers. This is for my benefit for truly their only concern is if the workers brought lunch and know the last bite rule.

The cat doesn’t help the situation. He will parade up and down the porch, preening where they can see him through the glass, like he’s saying, “Look at me, free to be outside, trusted by our dear mistress. Oh, you poor poor pups, I am so very sorry you can’t enjoy being out here for it is indeed lovely to be free.”  This is the same cat that we rarely see from sun up to sun down now in full glorious display on the porch just to torment the dogs.  Thank you Mow-Mow.

Before the dogs go to bed they go out one last time and with the opening of the back door, turn into nocturnal feral hunters of the vile night creatures hiding in the backyard.  I am fairly certain, however, that neither the slugs nor orb spiders are planning a take-down of man or dog-kind anytime soon, but that is a moot point so we move on.   They run through the flower bed,  around the pool, they stand at the far fence corner and bark and snarl threats at the darkness and then run to the other corner and do the same thing and then it’s back to the flower bed to begin again.

At this point it is obvious they have no intention of coming in even though I am standing barefoot in my pajamas waiting.  As usual, the tattletale of the bunch, Peaches, comes back to let me know the others are savages and we should just go in and let the night have them.   I sigh and get out the flashlight and take a step out into the dark, trying not to step on the slugs, and start threatening bodily harm to 6 dogs.  Hopefully no one hears me and takes it serious and calls the SPCA.  I only threaten 6 because Peaches is right beside me making sure I know, yet again, she is a good and obedient dog. Finally, I hear bushes and palms rustling and the padding of paws in the grass – success.  I head back inside and  one by one the beasts slink back inside.  They know I’ve had enough and a bedtime treat is  unlikely, but as they go by with their heads down, their tails are in the air and there are secret smiles on their faces as if to say “It was worth it.”

Goodnight to all.  I wish you grace, contentment, a sharing heart, and compassion for all living things in 2012.

©2011-2012 itsa5doglife  All Rights Reserved

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