Wednesday, January 13, 2010


This has been an incredibly mild winter so far. Very cold overnight, but day after day of sunshine and afternoons in the high forties - even scraping the belly of fifty. This has severely disrupted my plans to cocoon the winter away, since you can maybe sit and read through one glorious day but a whole series of them? Blasphemy.

So yesterday, as soon as the carbon dioxide had melted back into the atmosphere I took the new tarpaulin I'd bought at the hardware store and went to the cabin site. Pulled up a big table and hauled out all the interior siding I'd neatly stacked inside. This took maybe twenty minutes, after which I'd planned to get to work on the insulation for the front wall. Trouble is, about halfway through the process I noticed that I didn't seem to have any dogs.

All last summer, whenever we worked on my cabin or M's dome, the dogs would just find shady trees to lay under and keep us company. They didn't run off even once, and that will sort of lull you into carelessness. So yesterday I called and called, and nobody came back.

I had a sad notion as to where they'd gone. They've been a bit pissed with me mornings, because Walky Time has been pushed back every day until such time as the lakes of frozen ammonia dissipate. Yesterday they were particularly militant about it, and so when we went to the cabin they apparently decided that just wasn't walky enough and took matters into their own paws. Ghost in particular has been going through some changes this winter; he used to be by far the most peripatetic of the dogs but since Magnus and Fritz got older and just wanted to sit around he had started to act much...older. It wasn't just that he stopped wandering off: He became dour and grouchy. But now his only full-time canine companion is Little Bear, who is to say the least neither of those things. Ghost was a long time warming up to Little Bear, but now they've become quite close and that has had one unfortunate side effect. Ghost now has a friend he can go on walkabout with. This wasn't the first time, though it is the first time they've disappeared from a build site.

So I (rather angrily) laid down my work and hiked back to the property to get the Jeep. I figured they'd probably gone to D&L's place to play with their puppy, but in case I was wrong about that I'd drive through the wash and see if I could flush them out. They can't resist the Jeep, and as I've said this wasn't the first time. As soon as I climbed the ridge my cell phone caught a signal and buzzed at me. The voicemail confirmed that Ghost and LB had, in fact, arrived at D&L's. Sigh.

I've been more draconian about putting them in Gitmo when I can't directly supervise them, and LB has become much more philosophical about being tied out rather than allowed to wander free, so it's been a while since they've pulled this stunt but they keep finding new venues for mischief. In a way I'm not sorry to see Ghost lightening up, 'cause he's just way too young to act like an old dog. But right now he's acting like an irresponsible puppy. Here there be monsters, and it's my job to protect the boys from them. Sometimes they make it harder than it needs to be.

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