Friday, April 23, 2010

Terrier: the new wayfarer

I've been putting this one off because it freaked me out so bad, but I'm finally able to share the experience and quite frankly you just aren't going to believe me.

Fourteen months ago I adopted Jake, whom I call the Pissin' Yorkie. Originally I'd begged his breeder for a tri-color female but to my surprise she offered this boy and I accepted but I'm still hoping she will sooner or later offer me my much preferred bitch.
Quite frankly I hate dogs (males) because they can't seem to keep their legs down and they can't keep their little dick's from leaking on your furniture or the corners of walls and on occasion your leg.

Iit took me a little bit of time to adjust to Jake and really grow a fondness to him. It didn't help that the little bastard fell head over heels in doggy love with the husband instead of me, and he was supposed to be MY companion. For the first couple of months he'd swoon when the man came home from work, his brown eyes welling up with adoration and he'd instantly forget that he'd had the entire day with me.

Jake came with extra equipment, I wasn't really excited about this and not only that, but some of his equipment was trapped inside which made his surgery a little bit more difficult and expensive. Let me tell you, this gift of a pup was starting to seem less of a gift! He didn't know the first thing about outdoor potty training, as he was a kennel dog and considered it okay to whiz in his area and when let outside he'd avoid the grass and instead head for the concrete patio.
This wasn't going to do for me, and diligent attention was going to have to begin.

Walking a 3 pound dog doesn''t really happen, not when my stride is over 3mph and my legs are 32" long. When I first put a collar on him he reared his little legs up and kicked around as if I had put a saddle on him and he was a wild horse. Imagine my laughter when the teensy leash clipped on and he was confronted with the weight of this added and dragging behind him, broncos around like a stallion.

After a year of his companionship and his switching loyalties from husband to me and back a few more times I'd like to say that he really likes me. I provide for him the additional affection that you can only get from grooming. He LOVES it when we get in the tub and a handful of shampoo starts massaging into his little doggy tresses.
Grooming a Yorkie is extensive, there are several layers of shampooing that takes place. After shampoo you have to condition and then comb and blow dry and comb and after that depending on what you want to accomplish ...scissoring or most recently I've taken to clippering.
Oh yes! Jake is currently sporting a fine mohawk.

As for his travels, you ask this because of the title - let me give you a little insight because of my opening statement...
In early February we had an over-abundance of red-tailed hawks out and about, their beautiful silhouettes circling in the skies. Those wings spread wide as they soar above, it leaves me feeling serene ..or it did until one early wet morning.

Now my days consist of me heading to bed around 4 or 5 a.m. I put the dogs out to do a fast pee trip at 3ish and I get up again at 7 or 730 and let them stay out until 9 before bringing them in. This particular morning I was hurting above average, a week or so before I'd had the slip and hurt myself (bringing in the treadmill if you'll remember reading that particular blog) and the added humidity from the rain, my FMS and just being exhausted all added up to needing to sleep in just a little bit longer but only until 930.
Stretching and knocking off half a dozen hot sweaty cats, I stuff my feet into my slippers and paddle out in my underpants to walk out to the patio and call the dogs in.

The sky is dark, like steel wool and the air is heavy with mist and fog and thick. It's nasty out and already and there's a huge puddle of water pooling on the patio (because the damn yard is slanted). I hollar out for the dogs, Poncho is huddled under the peach tree trying to take cover under the barren branches. The fat drops of water splashing down and pinging him.
Helen on the other hand is in her element, naturally - that dumb ass junkyard dog is bulldozing through every wet hole, making a muddy mess. She's celebrating the life giving water! Flopping to the ground and rolling in any smelly spot she can and mashing the odor into her coat.
Jake is no where to be found!

I yell for him, "Jake"..."Jakey" ..and then I go out into the yard, in my t-shirt and underpants in the cold (it's 50 degrees for sure) and the wet and it's now starting to rain and its not just mist anymore and circle the perimeter of the yard to make sure there's still no spots for escape for him. While I do this I'm calling for him, a little desperation in my voice by this time...and I notice..oh fuck, I notice the hawk dive bomb towards Poncho who has run towards the backdoor that I've left open just enough for him to nose his way back inside.

No fucking way is this really happening! I've been saying for a while now, kind of off hand to one of the are going to get eaten you dumb shit (because he keeps running out and playing in the yard when I go out in the yard at night). We have all sorts of birds of prey, most especially the hawks, vultures and owls. Recently an owl has taken roost in a large tree in the next door neighbors backyard. I hear it hooting each night and this particular cat is what most laypeople call 'pink'. Imagine how delectable he must look in the dark to this owl running around in the green grass?

So on this wet and cold morning, I've over slept and left my poor little defenseless Jake out in the yard. Soaking wet he weighs barely 3 pounds and I'd just recently given him a full shave down because of my back injury. He literally looked like a squirrel because I'd cut him completely down to nothing, not even a little lions mane. He had to appear to be a meal just handed to him on a platter.
Oh the GUILT I had and soon I'm walking around the yard and the wetness on my face was not just the rain but tears, and I'm sobbing because I've lost my little dog - that I didn't think I really loved.

Oh Jake ...Jake!
I go inside and throw on my husband's jacket and some sweatpants, not really thinking yet I start walking up the street and calling his name in hopes that maybe he'd really just gotten out of the yard. I know that he hadn't because, well he just wouldn't leave the yard because it's not in his little dog nature and the yard is completely closed.
Sniveling and hiccuping I speed dial hubby and probably hard intelligible I say "jake...gone..come home.."

I was so impressed by his showing up because the 10 minutes it takes to get from our house to the office was done immediately I think he just dropped everything and walked right out of a meeting just for me. He found me walking through puddles in my sandals, no socks and the temperature still dropping and now the rain coming down hard. Snot rolling, my chest heaving and I'm saying.." the fucking hawks took Jake!"

He can't believe it so goes driving around the neighborhood calling for him while I walk and believe it or not..I listen very carefully I hear YAP YAP..WHAT..!!!??? Jake? YAP YAP!!!
JAKE...I'm looking frantically around and still I look up and I see another hawk in the sky that was soaring up above.

I'm 5 houses south of my own and I look down the yard and into the yards in the next street and lo and behold...there's my little guy hopping up and down against a fence! He's desperately barking at me, YAP YAP. In this same yard there is a Rottie mix who is wagging his tail quite happily wanting to play with him but keeping his distance for the most part and in this yard there's a tree also bare of leaves with a few long branches..perfect for a large bird to perch upon..perhaps where one would sit and enjoy a meal?

I will never really know how my little dog ended up so far away from my home that cold wet morning but I can only imagine that he went Up Up and Away into the sky on Red Tail Air but wiggled and kicked enough to get set back down and save his little terrier life and come back to live with me.

oh and by the way, he loves me a LOT now since I saved him