My first brush with the new day was at 3AM, when I took the Mighty Dachshund outside. It was a warm night for December so, after she drained, we sat on the porch and enjoyed the night a while. It says something about the temperature that I was sitting comfortably in the porch swing wearing only my skivvies, a t-shirt and my L.L. Beam camp mocs. I guess it says something for the convenience of darkness, too, that I could get by with such an outfit. One thing about my simple way of dressing, all I have to do is add a pair of blue-jeans and I'm road-ready!
The 4:30 rooster was already stirring for some reason. Perhaps he senses that his owners are gone and feels lonely or frightened. They've been good neighbors over the years, minding their own business rather than ours, but I heard through the grape-vine that we're going to lose them. They're going to retire to the mountains, I guess. Maybe that's their way of preparing for the crash or, maybe, they just like to trout fish. We've seen no signs of life for the last few days, so I suspect they're in the mountains making arrangements. I don't know who's taking care of the chickens, but their son lives out the road, so I suppose he's doing it.
Sitting there in the swing, I could hear the tires of the trucks on the four-lane a couple miles away. I don't know how far that sound travels but, when I was younger, I believe that I was seven road-miles from the highway, up on a mountain, and could still hear them. Of course, being in West Virginia, they might have only been a couple miles away as the crow flies.
Speaking of crows, while sitting there, I heard what sounded like the fighting “purr” of a crow in the distance, though it could also have been a turkey gobbling at a much greater distance. I don't know why either one would be stirring at that hour of the night. Still, the pooch and I spooked a flock from the trees in our yard just after dark the other night, so who's to say. I was a bit startled for a second when that happened, but the little dog just looked up in curiosity with no apparent concern. Maybe she figured the “big dog” (me) would protect her if any trouble came of it.
When I took her out again at 6:30, I realized that I hadn't heard the six o'clock rooster for several days. A couple weeks ago, there were some red lights at one the homes out the road, and we haven't seen that neighbor since. In fact, it looks like someone is cleaning out his trailer and sorting his stuff. They must have already dealt with the rooster. Since we don't socialize with anyone, we never know what's going on. One of our other neighbors was dead a year before we ever heard. Since I quit getting the paper, I don't even see the obits. I guess I could check them online, but I never think to do so.
We sat on the porch a while at 6:30, also, and the Mighty Dachshund was just as happy as before. The big light on the pole out by the highway casts a fair amount of light in our yard, now that most of the leaves are off the big oak out that way. She kept an eye on things, but her nose was even more active. Even during the earlier stint of porch-sitting, there was enough light to watch her nose twitch from side to side and see her sides move as she took quick “mini-breaths” to aid her sniffing. She'd love to be an outside dog if we'd let her. Of course, she’d expect us to live out there, as well.
It was 10:30m before I took her out again. She fertilized the side yard, as well as drained that time. Even though she’s back to living mostly on people food, she's off cheese-burgers and chicken jerky and seems to be doing alright. She'd live on chicken jerky if we'd let her, but it gave her the trots, plus, the vet said it was loaded with fat. The trots are gone now and she deposits nice healthy-looking “cigars” in the grass now, instead of what looked like a calf would leave if it had scours.
I weighed in at 395 when I came back in the house. I'd gotten down to that point at the first of the week, and then, immediately bounced back up. It's taken all week to get that weight back. I doubt if I ever get down to where I should, but if I can lose an average of even just a pound a week, it'll be a good thing.
Take it from me; don't ever let yourself get fat. © 2015