Oh, Monday!

I'm staying up at my parents' house watching their dogs while they help my brother move to his new digs in Broomfield for his new job. My parents live "up a mountain" and miles away from town. Cell phone service is scant, neighbors are far and few between and it's the most loveliest piece of Colorado you ever did see. I love the solitude, the view and the night sky where stars go on forever. But this past Monday, it hit me a little bit at how remote it really is.

The view from the porch

It started unremarkable enough. I fed my (canine) siblings and then we went for our after breakfast walk when all of a sudden there is howling up the road. And not just dog howling - it sounded like the kind in horror flicks where a town is about to be brutally attacked by a pack of hungry, mutant science experiments and it sent shivers up and down my spine. Of course all three dogs immediately perked up and were highly interested in whatever their brethren had to say. Simultaneously their hackles went up, their hind legs tensed and their ears pointed. I just knew they were going to abandon all domestication and join their wild counterparts for escapades only canines can enjoy.

I managed to maintain control over Ina and Calvin and I quickly corralled them in the house and grabbed the buzzer for the collar Sadie wears (emits a loud, obnoxious "bzzzzzzzzz" sound and vibrates) and I rush out the door to, I dunno, rescue Sadie from a pack of ravenous coyotes? I wasn't thinking. The only thing I could think about was that my parents would KILL me if I let Sadie get eaten by a coyote.

Now, let me paint a picture for you. It was supposed to be a short walk - just long enough to give the dogs some exercise and an opportunity to sniff absolutely everything and do their business but short enough where I didn't have to wrap up in my Nanook of the North outfit. I had on a sweatshirt, sweatpants and my dad's snow boots (which are about 2 sizes 2 big). I didn't have on socks, didn't have a hat, no gloves and no cell phone. I didn't leave the house thinking I was going to go back country trekking so I was ill prepared for the snow, the uneven ground and a dog hell bent on getting back to her roots.

I can see Sadie. My great big, quiet gentle Sadie, just up the road. She hadn't found the hooligans yet but she's pretty determined. I yell at her. I clap at her. I whistle. I yell and clap and even tried yelling, clapping and whistling all at once for her but she continues to ignore me. My knee twisted on the uneven, snowy ground and down I went. I'm sitting in a foot of snow, my knee is not cooperating and I have a dog on the loose. This gave me a break about thinking of all the different ways my parents would kill me because I began thinking about how isolated I was. I'm sitting in a foot of snow, I don't know the address and I don't have my cell phone and even if I did have my phone, how could I direct them to me (assuming I could get a signal) when every time I come out, I navigate by landmark. I decided then that I would just rot in the snow and Dad and Laurie would find me during spring thaw...

Some sense comes back to me (I'm still sitting in the snow) and I finally use the buzzer I gripped tightly in my cold, blue fingers. Sadie looks over at me (ha! it worked!) and I swear there's a smirk on her face. She looks back down the road as the pack howls again (they're further off now) and I buzz her one more time. Finally she turns her back on the pack and she trots over to me like nothing happened. I tell her how glad I am that she didn't get eaten by coyotes (I'm still sitting in the snow) and she licks me on the face. I gingerly stand up and she drags her paw down my thigh (at least it was the opposite leg) and looks at me like I've lost my ever-lovin' mind. I can hear her saying, "What in the world are you doing in the snow, human?"

Off we hobble back to the house. Sadie as proud as punch and me, still coming down from the fear of hearing those coyotes so bloomin' close. Ok, so it was probably a pack of Beagles but still, I was NOT looking forward to that phone call to my folks.

And THAT, my friends, was just the morning.

"Live well, my friends." - Sadie

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