I go to bed, fairly late. Well. About 1 a.m. I try not to stay up past 1:30. And then I try to sleep until 5:30 a.m. In theory. But for several months now, our oldest dog Maxine has a different plan for me. Most mornings are 5 a.m. This morning was 4:45 a.m. It is going in the wrong direction, don’t you think?
So I’m a little on the groggy side, first thing. Coffee, don’t you know? But until that happens, I feel like I’m in a bit of a weird vacuous chamber that sucks away your mind powers.
All of them.
Anyway, this morning. Up at 4:45 a.m. I let the dogs out, first thing, and start with the morning routine. Coffee-making; dog-breakfast-making; dishwasher-unloading… and all of that.
I heard Frances outdoors, give the world her warning bark. It goes “Bark. Bark. Bark.” That translates in to… “Okay everybody. Listen up. Big ferocious dog here at the end of this bark. Be warned. Stay away. Or else.”
Every morning, it is HER routine.
But then… a different bark started coming from her. More fierce. Quicker. Louder. Acute.
I am thinking in my mind-vacuum….. that she has caught something. A raccoon maybe. But then I hear a squeal, a yip.
I immediately snap out of my dayspring oblivion. I run to the back door. No dogs. I head toward the front window, and then I hear a loud ruckus, barking, growling, yipping, and then more barking …. near the back door. I run there. Again.
This time three dogs. The little ones, Max and Ollie are there with their backs to the door. Frances is standing guard in front of them, poised, barking outward to the darkness of 5 a.m.
When I let them in, it was apparent Maxine had been in some sort of trouble. She was wet, and muddy, and shaking. Ollie was upset too, and begging for attention. Frances looked hard at both of them, up and down, as if she were inspecting vehicles as they rolled off an assembly line. And once she saw that both little dogs were okay, she walked to the front windows, looked out again, and then dropped to the floor with a momentous sigh.
I suspect, I project… that something…. probably Coyote…. gave attack and most likely had a big hold on Max. And I think Frances saved the day. This would not be the first time this has happened. But this morning, when all the commotion ended, Frances was physically and mentally exhausted.
I tell this story, because it is an awesome account. An incredible pronouncement of honor, and courage, and caring. Compassion. From a dog. Our Frances.
Her character goes beyond compare. She truly is the best dog ever. I think, a lot of times, we humans could learn from dogs. They will teach us if we let them. They live in the moment. They use their intuition. They take naps. Dogs are thankful to those who are kind to them. They are quick to forgive. And most of all, they love unconditionally.
Oh, to be more like our dogs. Those noble, incredible dogs.
Well… all except for the butt-sniffing thing.