Baby Boom

Photo by Angela Kirk

Apparently the little critters that wander around on our property think that Doc and I are running a maternity ward in our back yard.

It all started a few weeks ago when Doc noticed a pair of cardinals flying back and forth between the large pine tree and the lilac bush by our back patio. Suspicious, as soon as the female cardinal flew out of the bush, Doc went to investigate. She carefully peered inside and well hidden under the leaves, was a nest with three little speckled eggs. Now I don’t want to say I told you so, but I had been trying to alert Doc that there was some type of construction going on in the bush over a week ago and she just hadn’t paid any attention to me. Since that revelation, we have been careful to give the mother space so she can nest without interruption. We also don’t want the male cardinal that stays close by to attack us.

Everything remained peaceful for a few days until one evening at dusk, Doc opened the back door to let me out and my friend Bunny was in the back yard digging furiously in the ground. ” Uh Oh!” Doc said out loud. ” What’s wrong? ” I asked. ” You’ll see. Go to the bathroom and then tomorrow morning when it is light we will investigate and see if my suspicions are correct.” Early the next day Doc went over to where Bunny had been digging the night before and bent down to the ground. She pulled back some grass and there was a large hole deep into the earth. She stuck her hand in the hole before I could yell “Don’t do that!” She was lucky nothing jumped out and bit her. ” It’s a bunny nest!” Doc said with excitement. ” She is obviously in the family way and about ready to give birth. Grover, you will have to keep an eye on the babies and keep them safe like you did a few years ago.” ” Ok I responded, I will keep that hawk away from all the nests and keep all of the babies safe the best that I can.”

Now if that wasn’t enough to keep us busy, early this morning I heard Doc yell ” Well look at that!” as she peered out the window. I ran over to see what she was looking at and I’ll be darn if there weren’t two racoons running across the back yard with three little baby racoons in tow. ” We need to call in reinforcements, we can’t take care of all these critters by ourselves.” I said. “What do you have in mind”, she asked. “We need a midwife and a nanny ASAP.” I responded. “Grover, it will be ok, nature knows what it is doing. I think it’s wonderful that they chose our yard to have their babies. They must feel safe here.” I nodded in agreement. ” I know I do.”

A Week of Hello’s, Good bye’s and Renewal

    Photo by Angela Kirk

The past week has been a whirlwind of activity and although we are tired, Doc and I have had fun almost every step of the way.

After family left on Memorial Day and went back up north, it was only a few days before more company arrived. We were busy getting everything ready, planning activities and making calls necessary for everyone to get together, along with finding a way to get our normal work day in and complete our daily chores. I won’t lie, it was exhausting. After work on Wednesday, we went straight to the airport to pick up a friend named Marilyn that came all the way from Florida and after getting her settled in we were so tired we conked out early in bed.

The next day Doc and her friend left me at home to go to a retirement party for a very special police Sargent named Larry that has done special duty for over thirty years where we work. I have loved him since I was a puppy and although I understand that all good things must come to an end, it will be hard not seeing him at work where he kept all of us safe for many years. Doc let me put my paw print on the retirement card we gave him as I was not allowed in the restaurant. Can you believe that?

The next evening Doc thought it would be a good idea to get me out and about in preparation for me to physically come back into our work place after being at home for over a year. We went to the downtown of our suburb and it was busy. There were street musicians out playing, bicycles going by me, some unruly dogs barking at me and of course strangers asking to pet me. Doc said I passed with flying colors, but boy was I tired when we got home. I haven’t seen that many people all together in one place in over a year. I really had to focus and I think that’s what wore my doggy brain out.

The next day Doc told me I had an appointment with Dr. Ritchie at the vets office for a physical in order  to get my recertification as a therapy dog. What she neglected to tell me is that I would be getting some shots and other immunizations, not a nice surprise. The first shot was ok, I didn’t even whimper, but then they sprayed some stuff up my nose and I did not like that at all. I gave them the stink eye so they would know I was not pleased.  In the end they told me I was such a good boy that I could have as many treats and hugs as I wanted.

So here we are on Wednesday and all the guests are gone from the house, all the socialization is over and Doc and I are back to our daily schedule.  There is something to be said for predictability, but we also feel thankful for good friends and being able to celebrate all the happy times with them safely again.

The Great Escape

Photo by Angela Kirk

There are times an opportunity arrives and you don’t have time to think about choices, you either go for it or you don’t. That is just what happened to me over Memorial Day weekend and you guessed it, I went for it!

It was a quiet Saturday morning and the visiting relatives were in the house with me while they were finishing their coffee. Doc was outside talking to the next door neighbor about tomato plants and decided to offer him some of her oregano that was growing in the back of the house. Bored, I was watching out the window when I saw Doc and the neighbor come through the back gate leaving it wide open while they walked across the back yard. Then to my delight, Doc’s niece got up and opened the back sliding door to go out and see what was going on. Doc started yelling, “Don’t let Grover out, the gate is open!” That was my chance, I bolted out the door, leapt off the back porch and headed right through the open gate. Freedom!

To say that pandemonium ensued would be an understatement. My only intention was to go next door to see my doggie friends Frankie and Norman and play in their yard for a change, not cause an uproar. The adults were yelling to the kids “Grab Grover’s collar!” Frankie and Norman were barking and jumping up and down with excitement as they watched from the screened in porch. What a fun game, I thought to myself while I ran and dodged any one that came near me. I didn’t know we were going to play tag. I have long legs so I can run fast, not even the kids could catch me. In the end, three adults and three children could not keep up with me. I knew the game was over when I saw Doc quietly walk toward me out of the corner of my eye. ” Sit Grover” she said as she handed me a treat. ” Good boy, now time to come home.” I relented and walked back home with Doc as I was dog tired and ready to take a nap in my own house.

Later Doc asked me why I had chosen to run through the gate so quickly. ” Well because Doc, you have always taught me that when an opportunity presents itself to try it and see where it will lead you. I just wanted to see if life would be more fun on the other side of our fence.” ” And was it?” she asked. “Yes, for a little while, but coming home is always the best part of any life journey. No matter where I go or what I do, there is no place I would rather be that being home with you.” I said as I fell fast asleep right next to Doc.