scene: a calm, windless, cool sunset in our city. 4 houses overlook a small pond. the farthest house on the right is our house. two doors down are our two older neighbors enjoying a peaceful moment on their back porch, sipping beer and chatting lightly as the sun sets.
enter 18 year old with old dog and young puppy.
the young puppy takes off towards the empty lot, and I, the 18 year old, watch calmly and chat with Ruthie as we wait for the puppy to finish her business and saunter back. The puppy, named Piper, goes to the furthest point away from us, which is normal. Suddenly, she stops, stoops, and picks up a black something.
I take off towards the puppy.
Piper, being oh so sweet, thinks “Wow! What fun!” and proceeds to launch herself into a full run while I am calling “PIPER! DROP IT!” because I have no clue what she is holding.
I come within reaching distance of the pup after a few laps around the yard, when something disgusting reaches my nose and I glimpse a tail- yes, a nasty black tail- draping out of Piper’s mouth.
Meanwhile, Ruthie has gone in, put treats in her pocket, and is also chasing the dog around the yard, calling “PIPER!!!” the entire time, much like I am.
We are quite the spectacle.
Our neighbors sit serenely, no expression, no movement whatsoever, except to turn their heads and sip their beer as they watch us careen around the yard like the hooligans we are.
Mom’s laugh echoes from the kitchen window.
We plan a strategy of attack as we sprint around and around the house, the yard, the lot next door, and the weeds. The tail is slowly beginning to disappear, and we are now fearing that Piper may actually eat the entire mole while running- no easy task, mind you- and that it will come back to haunt us later, if you know what I mean.
Finally, the tail disappears and Piper screeches to a halt. I am still running straight for her as she pauses, cocks her head ever so slightly, and proceeds to run straight back to where she found the dead mole.
and guess what.
she finds another one.
This time however, her slight pause to consider her next move had allowed Lillie to come out of the house to help us, and we soon have her cornered. Corralled. The mouse drops, and she again takes off.
Love that dog.
And our neighbors quietly sit, only turning their faces to watch us as we chase the dog some more.
Piper, all of a sudden, changes direction and heads straight toward Ruthie who is running towards the back door. Me and Lillie yell and holler while running for Ruthie to run to the back door so we can get her in the house.
She opens it, and in flies Piper.
We all stop, hands on knees, and catch our breath as Piper watches us from her glass enclosure. We all turn, look up and notice that our neighbors are watching us. They quietly lift one hand, almost in unison, and we wave emphatically back.