For those of you who have dogs, you know that they are an important member of the family. Like little children, they have diverse personalities with mood swings that range from one extreme to the other. They can be affectionate or aloof, protective or frightened, remorseful or stubborn, smart or clueless, cunning or naïve, forgiving or vindictive, and at times, funny as all heck.
This spring, April is turning out to be more wintery than December was. In deference to the weather, I have dutifully planted my herbs and started some early tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers, but the arctic air keeps blowing and every night as the afternoon sun begins to wane, I have to carefully bring my tender plants into the house.
My four-legged son, Sebastian, a constant companion, great protector and watchdog, the first bold sentry to man (or dog) his post and sound the alarm if he even dreams someone is approaching the house, was quietly asleep in my bed this morning. About 3:30 AM, I heard him stir, and I did my best to remain as still as possible cherishing the warm blankets and some much needed rest; it was below freezing and I really didn’t want to take him out. My ruse didn’t work and soon he was up kicking his back feet like some Spanish fighting bull about to charge the matador; it is his signal that he needs to go potty.
I swung my legs out of bed and put on my warm slippers. Cory, deducing what the early morning ruckus was all about, darted into the kitchen to pounce on the basement door; that is his signal that he needs to go potty.
I stumble into the predawn darkness wishing I had the luxury of emptying my own bladder before bracing the morning cold. Down the stairs and opening the back door that leads into their run, I realize that Cory is the only one with me. From the base of the steps I called Sebastian to follow, but the only answer I got was a weak, pathetic whimper.
I panicked thinking he had hurt himself or something. I flew back upstairs and turned on all the lights. Sebastian was sitting in the bedroom looking totally perplexed. I invited him again to come “go potty.” He approached the bedroom door, looked into the hall, and retreated stealthily back into the bedroom.
Apparently, the two planters that have been stored in the hallway every night for a week, today looked menacing beyond any canine fortitude my little boy could muster. I scooped up my vicious watchdog and carried him to the basement steps.
We all remember the nightmares of a monster hiding under the bed or the boogeyman in the closet, well, I guess to Sebastian, two yellow planters in the hall are just as terrifying.