That’s Laudie-dog above, the sweetest dog in the world. She’s good now. But who would poison her?
And that’s Shadow-dog below, the most playful dog in the world. He’s good now. But who would poison him?
Early Wednesday, just after midnight, I arrived back home after the epic Day Off, relieved in seeing Shadow-dog and Laudie-dog peek through the chain-link fence gate to ascertain it was me. But then they disappeared again to check out I didn’t know what at the other side of the house. That’s never happened. But then they came back to greet me once again as I got to the gate. Whatever had been happening at the other side of the house was now ended. But something was wrong, terribly wrong.
They were totally in malaise, no energy, no dancing around, no fake-fighting with each other to get the first pats on the head, no eagerness, like dead dogs still alive but hardly able to walk without falling over.
Shadow-dog stays out 24/7/365 now that he’s somewhat outgrown his all-night commentary on the druggies and assaulters and rapists and murderers in the neighborhood. He got his supper-dish filled with his evening meal, late, but better late than never. Except this time. He wouldn’t touch it. He was vacuous. A shell of a dog. Empty eyes. Receding into the background. Not this:
Laudie-dog was able to make it up the few steps to come inside but I thought she was going to drop dead right then and there. I put her supper dish down with the usual evening ration. She’s always eager to eat and eager to never stop eating. But Laudie-dog wouldn’t eat. Every movement was painfully slow. She slowly sat down, and then ever so slowly tried to turn her head sideways to stare at her stomach. I’ve never seen that before. Then she took a few steps, sat down, and stared ever so dully at the wall. Vacuous. Nothing there. A shell of a dog. Receding into the background.
Next morning Laudie-dog still hadn’t eaten anything. Shadow-dog did eat sometime during the night, but, like Laudie-dog, was still in total malaise. Later in the morning, Laudie-dog would also eat, choosing just this bit, then that, ever so very slowly, one chew, then opening her jaw with effort, as if in great sadness, then another chew. Excruciating.
Before rushing down to Georgia’s National Cemetery for a military burial, the neighbor filled in some of the details about the previous evening while I was away. It’s said that Shadow-dog was barking, really a lot, fiercely, for hours. The neighbors finally came out to investigate and noticed that the two dogs were on the far side of the house looking up toward the street, barking ferociously. But that’s just when I arrived home. I didn’t see the good neighbors and I didn’t see who had been bothering the dogs. I’m happy with avoiding trouble that could escalate into what nobody wants.
I’m thinking that someone noticed I wasn’t home, and was trying to figure out how to do a home invasion, then went away and came back to give some tasty bits of food to the dogs to eat, but with poison, to knock them out in order to do a home invasion. I’m guessing Laudie-dog ate everything she could while Shadow-dog investigated the first one or two offerings, but let Laudie-dog finish the rest. She got a lot sicker than he did. He was altogether occupied with keeping yet another home-invader, dog poisoner at bay. He did do that. But as soon as the danger was gone, just when I arrived back home, their adrenaline dump now left them and the effects of the poison came to the fore.
In other words, they gave their all to protect the home-front, risking death to do so. Goooooood daaaaawwwgs.
Meanwhile, as I write this, late Thursday, early Friday, I’ve never seen the drug house out back so very, very busy. By Thursday both dogs were back to normal, super-energetic, super-eager, with super-appetites. Great. But. What was it. Sounds like a date-rape drug that guy had at home, and he decided to use it on the dogs.
The other year, at an Advent meal up at Fire House, I was bragging on Shadow-dog, about how good he is at keeping home invaders away. The guy just blankly asked why I thought that. I described Shadow-dog’s anomalously massive size and ferocity over against those judged to be malicious (for instance, those who shoot at him and Laudie-dog here in town), but the guy didn’t accept that as anything to judge their worth. I should have known not to ask why not, as surely this guy was speaking from experience and the topic had to hurt (I’m so stupid):
- “Any experienced home-invader is going to open the gate to get to your back door, shoot the dog without breaking pace (with a suppressor I’m guessing), quickly break apart the door(frame), and proceed firstly to make sure there are no further threats before taking whatever it is that he wants.”
“I see,” said I, taken aback at his sad tone that told a story.
Mind you, I’ve had trouble getting Shadow-dog to eat before, but not because of malaise for having been poisoned. I only figured out recently just how much he considers me to be part of the security team, just how much he is depending on me, that is, as much as I depend on him.
I stupidly put his supper dish next to the house (as people do), so that he faces the house in order to eat. That’s bad for situational awareness. I should have known. He didn’t feel safe to eat if I was standing next to him, but also facing the house with him. He would spend minutes circling out back of me to bait me to turn and do surveillance for him much the way I’ve so many times seen a buck keep watch while the does put their heads deep into the grass. Having finally figured out what he was doing, all I have to do is put his supper dish down and face away, busy trying to spot those Shadow-dog senses to be malicious.
But this didn’t work the other night. The second the danger was over, both he and Laudie-dog, making sure I was safe, then just collapsed.
But they are good now. It’s all good. Thanks be to God.