I have never thought of myself as a drama queen, but I have lived with some. The current one is black and tan and has four legs. If you have heard that dachshunds are stubborn, I can tell you that is absolutely correct. I would even say relentless. They wear you down until you give them what they want: the deed to the house, the most comfortable spot on the bed, the car keys, their own fridge. But there is one thing all their machinations will not get and that is to go outside and mess around during the night. We live in coyote country, and because of the scarcity of water, coyotes and other predators are abundant this summer.
The drama all started last night when Sadie Lu went out for her last pee at about 11 p.m. and she spotted something, probably a rodent, disappear into the lavender bushes and slip under the deck. For hours she would not settle, going from a high-pitched whine even John could hear to outright barking while running from door to door. Finally, about 3 a.m., she draped herself around my head and fell asleep. Unbelievably, so did I while wearing a dachshund as a hat.
So this morning, after the pups’ morning walk (which is going quite well, I have to admit), I didn’t pay much attention when they went outside to play and explore. John and I were talking about going to the beach when I heard Sadie’s high-pitched whining. We explored the entire house and the yard, calling their names. Anxiety started to crawl up my spine. And then Teddy slid out from under the deck, followed by Sadie’s snout. I’m not saying that she is a chubby girl, but she is a good little eater. Still, if she got under there, she should be able to get out. Right? So we waited a bit … and then the “dental drill” whining resumed.
I looked at John and said, “What if she is injured?”
Out came the shovel. John dug a trench behind the lavender so she could wiggle out. Nothing doing. Enticing treats were offered. Wheedling sweet nothings and encouragement were given. All this just caused farther retreat into the cobwebbed depths. Next, siding was removed, but two black eyeballs peered with recrimination over a 2 x 6 board that was blocking egress.
John then went to the other side of the deck and removed more siding. And this is where it gets dicey. Everyone’s patience was wearing thin. There was a hole large enough for a German Shepherd to exit, but the snout would appear and disappear enticingly.
Teddy, who was taking all this in with a watchful eye, finally jumped over a small board and joined Sadie under the deck. He then turned around and came out. After this demonstration of “Look how easy this is,” the snout reappeared, and John grabbed Sadie by the scruff of the neck, and this story is thankfully winding down.
So the deck is restored and secured, and an uninjured Sadie is taking a nap. Poor girl is tired. After all, she was awake half the night and had a traumatic morning.
Addendum: I told my friend Erica, who lives in Spokane, about this. She told me this story: “My dogs kept me up a couple weeks ago because the moose were eating our bushes. We woke up to hoof holes in our lawn.”
I guess it could be worse …