1:30 am. I dream of coyotes squalling under moonlight, but it's just Scout complaining from her mini-crate under the blind-covered window in our bedroom. I slip out from the warmth to find my jeans and flannel shirt that I strategically placed on the floor when we went to bed.
I lean against the dresser. Right leg in; now left. Wait. It's stuck. I teeter back onto the bed and match up the correct legs. Jeans on. If I put my shirt on backwards or inside out, no one will know.
It's dark, in spite of the moon. On my hands and knees I blindly feel for Scout's collar where I left it next to the crate. I've learned to leave it attached to her leash.
|FLD Scout curled up in her mini-crate in the truck, on assignment with me.|
I whisper, sit, hoping I will feel the fur ball as I open the door. No worry, it is all wiggles and licks and I curse the skinny collar buckle as I fumble to snap it on her. I'm awake enough now to trust myself to pick her up and find the back door.
Scout. Park, I say after putting her down on the arid ground. No rain tonight, even though the Milky Way is a cloud across the heavens. There is some advantage to these middle-of-the-night excursions.
In mid-park Scout alerts. A coyote chorus fills the southern darkness like a waterfall. Scout bolts for the back door. I reel her in and we pause together, until the song fades.
|Blaine Bailer calls for coyote.|
|FLD Scout raises her head, briefly, when she hears the predator hunter make a coyote call at a Hunting 101 class in the Rifle River Rec Area. Does she know it's not for real?|
4:00 am. A repeat, sans coyotes. Although I manage to get my jeans on right at first try.
Scout finishes her "park" and sniffs while I crane my neck. It is still clear. The moon has dipped behind the trees. I don't know why I can never get enough of the night sky.
WHOOOOOOO, WHOOOOOO, WHOOOOOOOT!!! A branch cracks beyond the black tree-wall ringing our yard. Scout hustles back to me and leaps up in desperation. I half expect to hear her yelp, "Pick me up! Pick me up! Hurry up, PICK ME UP!!!"
So. I do.
We listen a while longer until the pounding behind her ribs (that I feel against my chest) settles.
An Ogemaw Voice assignment to the Besser Museum in Alpena. With permission, I tie Scout's Future Leader Dog bandana two times around her tiny neck, work her up the short flight of cement stairs, and enter the building. A room to our left holds stuffed wild animals in a central display, including a 600-pound black bear.
|No big deal!|
FLD Scout bounces around the exhibit at my side, sometimes needing a pat on my leg to get her attention away from whatever it is she smells on the floor. She takes no mind to the dead critters. Perhaps she knows.
I set her atop a bear-rug bench and she licks the back of the grimacing head.
|FLD Scout licks the bear-rug bench.|
Funny puppy, or maybe just a bit smart. She's afraid of howls in the night, but stuffed bears? Not.
|Gypsy is comfy in our woods. FLD Scout looks over her shoulder. Just in case.|