Our neighbours loaned their cabin to friends for the weekend. Which is good. The people are nice. We like ’em and they are sufficiently far away that, if we didn’t like ’em, it would not matter. Blessed isolation is a cushion of comfort – if needed.
And it is rarely, if ever, needed.
But the friends have four dogs. And their dogs are not quite as contained as are their masters. They wander. And they ‘mark’ where they wander. The guest dogs wander all over. They explore. They investigate.
This is still OK. The dogs are good dogs. No problem. Three Huskies and a Lab but only the Huskies wander. And they have their needs, their instincts, their behaviours. Their own curiosities. This is a vacation for them, too. They are just doing typical dog things. It’s fine.
Well, those things are fine by me, anyway. Fid and Meg are not quite so sure.
And a small canine drama has been unfolding all weekend.
Somehow the visiting dogs know when our dogs are inside. And that is when they come over into our area. Quietly. From tree to tree. Skirting the perimeter. Avoiding the main path. Shadows. I can see them from one of the windows. They sneak. And they sneak-pee. A lot. These guys are doing the equivalent of graffiti. They are tagging.
They know what they are doing. And they know the effect it is having.
And then they leave.
An hour or so later our dogs go out and all of a sudden they are hyper alert, super-animated, focused and charging around the area sniffing everything they can. Fid seems to run with his nose to the ground. Meg sniffs a bit but mostly she just bounces around looking for a stick or something. She’s excited and – as always – more than just a little confused but she is ready for whatever! I don’t think she knows why, what or whom but she knows Fid is on the job and that is exciting enough!
After a bit of trail searching our dogs are on the far perimeter of our area and looking sternly in the direction of the neighbour. Fid paces back and forth. Meg has lost focus and is soon following Sal and I as we get about our work.
When we go inside a few hours later for a cup of tea, Fid plants himself in a place he has never sat before. This new position affords a sweeping view of the back area and he would be quick to detect anyone or anything coming along the previously laid down foreign urine trail that he is now completely absorbed by. He sits stock still. And he stares.
Meg has a stuffed toy and is shaking it. A.D.D. coupled with a new-ish stuffed toy is her go-to state.
Every once in awhile the visitors take a tentative step or two in our direction and, if Fid and Meg are out, they run to the ‘imaginary line-in-the-forest’ they have all agreed to – the U line (urine) – and bark.
But, if they are inside or off chasing sticks, the visitors sneak up and leave a ‘tickle’ for their noses. Fresh pee!
And the drama continues.