Over the past few months I have noticed Red Dog starts whining at the back door around 5:00-6:00 in the morning. I was worried he was whining because he needed to go out for a potty break. Home security is a twenty four hour a day job so I figured the dog needs a little library time every so often but not this early in the morning. I would lie there using my possum playing tactics hoping that my wife would get up to let him out but she would just lie there snoring away. While waiting for her to wake up I started thinking about the horrible accident that might be found if I don't respond to his cry. So I would stumble out of bed half asleep to let him out. (I really think Debbie is better at this possum playing game than I am). Then quickly rush back to bed hoping to find it still cozy and warm. Well the past several morning I have started paying better attention to what Red Dog does once he goes out. As he walks through the door he goes into this slow precise intentional walk. One slow step at a time. He stops to stare into the night with his nose in the breeze searching for a scent floating through the air. Then suddenly his hind muscles contract and he launches himself into the darkness chasing whatever evil lurks beyond. I was thinking what a good boy, keeping our home safe from those free loading varmints that are cleaning me out of twenty five pounds of cat food each week. Well the more I watch, the more I learned. He wasn't after varmints. He was chasing Debbie's big grey tom cat "Smoky".
Now Smoky is this tough, strong, fearless tom cat who takes no lip from anything on four legs. He wanders the neighborhood like "Bad Bad Leroy Brown" just daring the wild varmints to try something. I'm amazed he is still alive. He is a battle worn veteran who has proved to me he's one tough hombre. He is a gang of one and I think that's why I kind of like this guy. He has only allowed me to pet him a few times. When he is tried of being touched he will strut away as if to say "that's all the time I have for you" and goes about his business. So I am baffled why he runs when Red Dog starts after him? Well I found out the other morning it's all about the groceries. In a past adventure I wrote how cool it was to watch Red Dog bolt out after Debbie's cats because he looked like Secretariat breaking out of the starting gate at the Kentucky Derby and how she didn't like him to do that. It was because her cats were coming to the food bowl to eat and Red Dog was chasing them away. After the chase Red Dog would return to the cat food and eat everything that was left. (He's like Mikey, He'll eat anything). Smoky figured out that eating early in the morning eliminated the need to "eat and run". I'm guessing that was driving Red Dog crazy watching Smoky enjoying his meal in peace so he would start whining and I was letting him out thinking it was potty time. Well on one of those mornings Smoky decided to hold his ground and those two started trading blows right and left. The battle that ensued was more entertaining than a UFC title fight with neither wanting to give any ground. It was a real live "Mexican Standoff" in my own back yard. When it was all said and done, I think they both saw the futility of the situation so Smoky ran off in one direction and Red Dog walked back to the house with a few small bloody spots on the end of his nose. There are still two small nicks there as a reminder of that epic battle. I don't think they like each other very much these days and have started this early morning taunting through the sliding glass door. So at first when the early morning whining started, I'm the dumb sucker who's climbing out of bed tripping my way through the darkness to let him out. I've been tricked into the middle of a early morning dog and cat feud. "Yippee". I bet my wife snickers when she reads that. (The reason I say she will snicker is when we were younger and she would get upset at me, she would sometimes stay up at night to rearrange the living room furniture because she was too mad to sleep. Many times my job as a paramedic kept me out until the early morning running emergency calls and I would not turn on the lights when I came home to keep from waking her up. Almost every time I would trip over some piece of furniture she had moved. She told me she would lie there and laugh to herself when she heard the thump of me tripping over something followed by groaning in the darkness. That's why she's snickering). So this morning I decided I was going to hold my ground when I heard Red Dog making that fake "I've got to go potty" noise. I looked at the clock and it was 5:30 in the morning. I told myself "heck no, I'm not getting out of this warm comfy bed" and went back to sleep. It was 6:00 am and Red Dog is still whimpering at the back door. So I laid there wondering if he really was faking this or will I be calling in a hazmat team to come clean up a toxic mess on my wife's living room floor. I rolled the dice and fell back to sleep. Around 6:15 I was awoken by Red Dog's "Sonic Bark" WOOOOOFFFFF WOOOFFF WOOOOOOOOFFFFF WOOF WOOFFFF. "HOLY HEART ATTACK". I jumped to my feet as though reveille had blown and I had over slept at boot camp. I ran to the back door with my heart pounding out of my chest, flung it open and watched Red Dog charge into the breaking dawn. I still have no clue whether he had to potty really bad or had Smoky on the run.....Again. Now wide awake, I headed back to my warm bed for a few more minutes of sleep. I apparently dozed right off on my return because the next time I looked at the clock it was 6:30 am. I laid there foggy headed thinking something wasn't right. Oh no, our water bed had sprung a leak. Great, I can't catch a break this morning. Then it suddenly hit me as the last of the sleep cleared out of my head, "Oh man, we don't own a water bed". Darn you Red Dog and your loud "Sonic Bark". Until the next adventure, God bless you all.