Mike returned yesterday (Friday, June 27) from a six-day “motocaching” adventure through southern Montana counties on his Triumph Street Triple R. The dogs and I “staycated” at the farm.
Sunday (June 22) began with an early walk at the dog park with Nellie, Bess, and poor Pepper who is once again boarded. Back at home, Mike and I got ready for our separate adventures.
“It’s easier to get ready when you’re leaving at 10:00 than when you’re leaving at 6:00,” Mike noted. So true. We just puttered along, packing this and that, taking out the trash, wiping counters, etc.
Before he left, I asked Mike to load the dogs in the pick-up for me. Nell can use a boost now, and I’m not quite coordinated for it. Dressed in his heavy motorcycle duds and helmet, he complied with my request. Then, with a wave, he was off. I made one final check of the house, and the dogs and I were also on our way – after a quick stop at Jo-Ann’s to pick up buttons and yard ornaments. (Yard ornaments were 70% off. Should have bought more.)
The dogs seemed fine when they disembarked at the farm. I didn’t see much of them for the hour it took me to unpack and get settled. But in the afternoon, Nellie’s weirdness began to come out. She sat and looked at me with soulful eyes. “No, he isn’t here,” I tried to explain. “Mike didn’t come, but we’ll have a great time.” I could see she didn’t believe me. Perhaps it was a mistake that she didn’t see Mike actually leave.
“Mike?” said Bess. “Oh yeah – fun guy. He isn’t here. Shall we go to the pond?”
Nellie’s attitude was unsettling, especially since I saw something else in those eyes. What does she know? -- I wondered. Adding to my discomfiture, a doe trotted right through the side yard (south) – a gutsy move while we’re here. What would possess her to take the chance? A fawn?
I had to call Bess and Nellie for the afternoon walk. They seemed happy enough to go, but at the apple tree in the lane, Nellie sniffed the air and disappeared into the growing wheat. I figured she would eventually rejoin and I walked on to catch up with Bess, who was on point and waiting for me. As I approached, a doe jumped up and ran off. I was relieved when Bess obeyed my command to stay.
Back at the yard, Nellie didn’t show up until I whistled for her, arriving from the north field. Again, she seemed to know something she wasn’t communicating. Both dogs ate and settled for their evening naps.
I talked to Mike this evening. He was in Missoula. All was well. And Hallie called to tell me that they had been out to dinner with friends when they spotted a celebrity at another table.
At 9:00, I called it the official bedtime and brushed the dogs’ teeth. (At the approach of the brush, Nellie puts her snout on the floor, but little Bess lifts her head and bares her teeth for the brushing. So funny!)
About 9:30, a cacophony arose. Coyotes! Last week Mike remarked that he had never seen coyote sign so close to the yard. Thinking of the dogs – especially the exuberant Bess -- I dropped my crocheting and ran to the kitchen porch, where both dogs had been resting on pillows. Nellie again looked at me with knowing eyes and ambled off to her house in the woodshed, but Bess was nervous and clearly upset. “Woof” – she addressed the darkness uncertainly, but she stayed on the porch.