So, there I am, milking away and thinking pleasant thoughts, when Percy showed up on his daily raid on the mouse food. Squirt, squirt. He's either getting used to getting hit in the eye or he's developing a taste for goat milk. Okay, he ducked back, only to show up again a few minutes later on my left. I've got pretty good aim on the right, but haven't the confidence to clear my lap on the left so I bat at him with my hand. The little booger knows he's just out of reach and I think he likes the game. I had just taken a swipe at Percy when there he was at the feed on my right! How could he possibly have gotten over there so fast? I nearly got whiplash when I caught movement on the left. Percy has joined forces with another squirrel and they were tag-teaming me. Why do I have the feeling I'm not winning this battle.
Another day of near-100 degrees, Bess wading in her pool, me soaking under the hose mist and remembering the long-ago joys of air-conditioning. Realizing it was either "get over it" or become Miss Haversham in the midst of ruination, I raised enough ambition to dust the living room. Feel free to do a double-take of your own; it was so unlike me. And then, what to my wondering eyes should appear (not tiny reindeer) but the same two dogs that had been here last Wednesday. I evidently had not done a good job of impressing upon the owner the need for keeping his dogs safe and at home. The pug and Pom were suffering from the heat and willingly followed me into the Silkie pen, now known as dog solitary, for cool water, shade, and a couple of milk bones. I had asked the owner for his phone number, but he hadn't shared. However, caller ID had cleverly captured the number when he'd called me and I'd saved it. "Hello, Al, I've got your dogs again." This time he was only two hours later than the agreed time for pick up. I explained again that I have zero tolerance for strays (past bad experience) and a three-strike rule. The first time dogs show up could be an honest error and I try to get in touch with the owner. A second time is a warning that whatever effort they made is not working. All bets are off if the dogs show up a third time and my call would be to Animal Control. Reclaiming an animal from Animal Control is very expensive, and the pug and Pom would be subject to additional fines for no tags. While I had sympathy for Al's tale of financial woes (and who doesn't have those troubles these days?), my real concern is for his dogs. I'd feel worse if the dogs were to get hit by a car or bitten by a rattlesnake or fall subject to any one of the myriad dangers in these hills. I truly hope I don't see those dogs again.
I was going to take a photo at sundown, but it would have been a double-take of the day before.