MY DOG OF LA MANCHA
Ah, the relaxing patter of a gentle rain falling outside as my Jack Russell Terrorist hurls himself against my back door, snarling and yapping at the occasional blast of thunder.
Normal dogs fear loud storms. Not my little guy. Of course, I’ve never accused him of being normal.
Much like the Man of La Mancha when he comes upon a windmill, Scout challenges each and every overhead peal to a duel. And it’s pretty clear his preferred terms would be to the death. Don’t worry, he’s not suicidal. Sure, he may weigh in at only 20 pounds, even when soaking wet from the rain, but you can tell he’s convinced that the big bully in the sky making all that noise wouldn’t stand a chance against him if only they could finally meet face-to-face.
If I’m stupid enough to let him out when it’s cloudy (usually because I’m concentrating on my writing and haven’t noticed it has started to look threatening outside) and thunder begins to boom ominously in the distance before I can rush him back inside, all bets are off.
This little demon I call pet—the same dog who insists on doing his morning “business” standing on the edge of the patio, presumably so he won’t get his feet wet in the dew-covered grass—runs up and down all three sides of my increasingly muddy backyard fence gleefully growling and shouting his taunts at the roiling clouds. And it doesn’t matter if there’s rain, hail, sleet . . . whatever.
If there’s thunder, Scout wants to be under the open sky demanding to know if it wants a piece of him. “Bring it on. You don’t scare me,” is his obvious doggy battle cry.
Should this go on for long, my neighbors are prone to phone their displeasure. I shan’t repeat their exact words here, but they seem to think Scout and I might be related . . . and that I am unable to hear them if they keep their voice to a conversational tone.
So, for that reason and the fact that I don’t want to pay the vet bills if my little pugilist is struck by lightning or hit by hail, I’ve been known to chase after him with a large bath towel that I can throw over him if and when he slows down long enough for me to do so.
Good times, my friends. Good, muddy times.
What typically happens is that eventually he’s had all the wet fun he can stand and will, in a face-saving gesture, intentionally stop and look in another direction long enough for me to drape him in the towel. Naturally, he can’t appear to willingly quit the battle field, so he ratchets up his snarls, now obviously aimed at me, his captor, without ever actually trying to bite me . . . or dislodge the warm towel wrapped around him. In the meantime I, now drenched, carefully pick my way through the still falling rain and slip-slide my way to the back door.
Once we’re safely inside the house, behind closed and locked doors, and he’s dried off and warm, Scout’s barking resumes as long as the thunder roars. This has made for some long nights for yours truly.
All of which helps to explain why I’ve wondered on more than one occasion whether I’d prefer a Jack Russell rug at my feet on cold winter nights or a trophy head mounted on my wall. But then I have to ask myself, as he snuggles down on my lap once each storm becomes but a memory, who would keep me safe from the thunder?
HOW ABOUT YOU? DO YOU HAVE ANY PET STORIES TO SHARE? A FREE COPY OF MY DEBUT NOVEL, MRS. GOODFELLER, WILL BE RANDOMLY AWARDED TO ONE PERSON WHO LEAVES A COMMENT BELOW BEFORE THE NEXT WRITERSPACE BLOG IS POSTED.
Jaycie Cash blogs on a regular basis for Writerspace.com Her debut novel, MRS. GOODFELLER, is available through most major e-Book outlets, including Amazon and Barnes and Noble. She’d love for you to like her Facebook Author page.