This is my dog, Maya. I often refer to her as Ding Dong.
Doesn’t she look comfortable?
She is on her couch. It sits in the bay window of my dining-room-turned-office, and she loves it more than any spot in the house. Sometimes she sits on it like a human being – upright, facing forward, hind feet hanging off the edge, like we’re having a chat while I work. Most times, though, this is what you see.
It faces south, so in the winter, she puts her chin on that sunny corner there and just basks like a teenager getting a suntan. It’s summer now, of course, so she’s sticking to the shady side.
The couch is older than the house itself which is why I don’t care that her toenails have torn holes in the cushions and split the upholstery down to the wood frame. (Ok, I care when company comes, but otherwise no.)
When I have a real homestead, I want a dog that works for a living. One that pulls its weight. And listens when I say get that ball/stick/newspaper/rabbit! She’s supposed to be a Labrador retriever, but we must’ve gotten a defective one. Hubby will throw the tennis ball and watch as she chases it, skips completely over it, and runs around the yard like a maniac, completely forgetting the ball. Retreeeeeeeeiiverrrrr! he shouts at her.
Last night, I went into the back yard to check on my garden one last time before locking up. Maya likes to come along with me to see what kind of interesting chores I might need help with.
There is a female rabbit (I’ll explain) who has been invading my garden and helping herself to her own little all-she-can-eat salad bar. Initially, I installed plastic mesh fencing, about 4 feet high, all the way around the beds. Then I started discovering rabbit-sized holes chewed in the bottom and chunks of plants going missing. I plugged them up with lengths of 2-foot tall wire mesh that I had on hand. And the next day, more holes would appear. And so on.
This rabbit is stupid. I know this because there is clear “evidence” of a large canine predator in our back yard, and this rabbit not only chooses to make frequent raids on my garden, but she dug a big hole under my deck and planted a half dozen babies inside it. Helloooooooooo? Probably not the best idea. Though based on what I’m about to tell you next, maybe she knew more than I did.
So Maya goes out with me to check the garden. I unhook the section of fencing that serves as my gate, and what do I see sitting smack dab in the middle of my garden? You guessed it. At about the same moment, she sees me, she sees the dog, and the dog sees her. She takes off, intending to shoot through one of her holes and bound away to safety. Only I’d plugged those holes with wire mesh.
The damn rabbit starts careening off the sides of the fence like some kind of deranged, furry pinball. The dog, FINALLY feeling those hunting/retrieving instincts kick in, tears after her. I’m standing there frozen, watching my own private episode of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, praying they won’t tear through the beds and knock over the trellises and tomato cages.
Maya finally corners that damn rabbit between the fence post and the deck support beam. And has NO. IDEA. WHAT TO DO. WITH IT. Ugh! The humiliation.
The damn rabbit, sensing it has been cornered by a ding-dong, runs toward me, causing me to jump and shriek, leaving just enough room for her to shoot under the gate and make her escape. I give the dog my best you disgust me look.
Ding Dong, unfazed, pees in my flowerbed.