Monday, August 08, 2005

Dog days

Midnight came over to visit again yesterday. She's a black Lab mix who lives two houses away. Her owners seem unaware of the leash law in town. On the one hand, I wish they would take better care of their dog and would clean up after her (good thing the other neighbor who mows my lawn uses a riding mower), and on the other hand, I love her visits.

The first time she came over, she was very skittish. She eventually let me pat her. Now she runs over when she hears my screen porch door open or when I drive up. She has lovely toast-colored eyes, and a sincere look reminiscent of a certain Lab/setter mix in my past. She also has only half a tail, which doesn't keep her from wagging her entire back end.

I thought maybe she wanted food, but the other night when I offered her a corn chip she took it politely, carried it to the grass and put it down. She sat down next to it and watched me. I told her it was okay if she wanted to eat it. She didn't. I've tried throwing a stick for her. She's not interested. She occasionally drinks water I put out for her, but it's becoming clear that she merely wants to be patted.

Midnight doesn't bark and isn't aggressive. The night of the corn chip, she was on my lawn and I was on my porch swing when some boys went by with a big dog on a leash. They were on the other side of the street. Midnight just watched.

Last night I was on the porch swing with my cat, Joe Fish, when Midnight strolled over. At first she didn't notice the cat, but then she began smiling. No barking, no chasing. Joe hissed. She didn't show a strong reaction, but she also didn't come up on the porch. Joe Fish didn't threaten her again.

Last week I had story night in my backyard and Midnight came over. She grazed on some fescue while I told the first story, and eventually wandered out of the yard. Maybe tonight I should tell dog stories.

I'd like to have a dog of my own, but I travel a lot and I have this fabulous geezer cat who wouldn't be pleased. Maybe Midnight is the solution. As I write this, I'm realizing that I'm doing exactly what my grandmother used to do, playing hostess to a neighbor dog. Granny had two or three who used to visit regularly. (Mom, you can probably clarify this.)

1 comment:

Deb said...

I love this post. Lucky you, and lucky Midnight, and lucky Joe!