Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Val is No Nancy Drew

Further discussion of Val's epiphany has been tabled in order to bring you this breaking news:


Juno is the doggie we rescued from my mom, who found her dumped in the yard, all of three weeks old, and proceeded to NOT FEED HER because she didn't want her hanging around. Anyway, Juno is now a year old, healthy as a horse, a long-haired, black, border collie/lab mix, all legs and human hazel eyes and feathery tail.

Oh, you didn't know that Juno was missing? NEITHER DID WE! She's an outside pet. Most mornings she comes a-runnin' to lick my hand goodbye as I leave for school. In the evenings, she darts under the garage door to eat a mouthful of cat food before I get out of the car. We have a regular lovefest on the porch under the breezeway. This afternoon, Juno was not there. Neither were the other two dogs, so I thought they must be out running around.

This evening, The Pony put off collecting the eggs when we got home. For the last couple of months, it has been THE EGG. But the hens have started laying again. Hick found a whole chicken-butt-load of them in the dry leaves under the pool steps just outside the basement door. So we're back up to eight eggs a day. At 5:30, I told The Pony to get out there and get the eggs before it was dark. His proposal to use a flashlight later fell on unsympathetic ears. He can only garner so much sympathy for that atrocious haircut that I made him get.

The Pony returned to gloat. "It's a good thing I waited to get the eggs. One minute earlier, and we wouldn't have had that last one. It was still hot. I scared the chicken right off it. She jumped up, and there it was. She ran screaming all the way from the chicken pen to the back yard." Normally, Juno goes with The Pony to fetch the eggs. Whether for companionship, or in hopes that he will trip on a root and bounce one out of his red-and-green Easter basket, I'm not sure. The Pony did not mention Juno.

Hick got home late, ate supper, and commanded The Pony to accompany him to feed the goats, check on the three new kids, and work on a board for his science project in the BARn. The Pony returned to the house around 7:00. "JUNO WAS LOCKED IN THE BARn! She's been there since the last time Dad was in there. That was yesterday afternoon around 4:00. Now that I think of it, she didn't come out of her house this morning when I threw that meat out on the back porch. She's been there all day! And last night!"

"Oh, no! Is she all right? Can she still bark? Or did she make herself hoarse trying to get somebody to let her out?"

"She seems okay to me. In fact, she's really, really happy, bouncing around and playful."

That sounds like sunny Juno on an ordinary day. I'm glad she was not traumatized. I suppose the trade-off for a night in a heated BARn is a very late breakfast at 7:00 p.m. Poor, poor Juno. She's a social butterfly with people and other animals. Plus, her plastic chicken with only one foot was laying in the yard all alone. She plays with it every day. It's a good thing The Pony is pushing his project to the wire. Juno might not have been found for another day or two. Usually we notice when an animal is missing. Hick has locked up other pets in the BARn. That's the first place we look. This holiday weekend had us all discombobulated.

After a tasty repast of dry dogfood, and a bowl of fresh water, Juno was happily reunited with her canine companions. They are, no doubt, snuggled into a single house by the kitchen door, on a nest of cedar shavings, awaiting 2:00 a.m., when they burst forth and bark for five nonstop hours.


  1. Poor Juno, but being locked in a warm barn probably isn't too bad for a doggie.

  2. We have two barkers that live behind us. Two pitbulls. I am not always nervous around that breed--they have a bad rap due to the idiots that fight them--but these two can sail over our fence like it's the size of sofa, and their barking isn't the friendly "I-want-to-play" barking.

    I think Juno should have gotten a special little tidbit for her day of solitary confinement. What would Juno consider a treat?

  3. She was probably too busy watching that Lakers game on Hick's tv. I'll bet if you check the fridge you'll find some beverages missing too.

  4. I'd bark too, if someone left me out in the freezing cold all night with woods wanderers. Tell Hick to leave his barn door open:0

  5. Stephen,
    For a normal doggie, no. For Juno, life of the canine party, yes.

    I'll take that bait. Things Juno considers a treat: a freshly-laid egg, dry cat food, stale bread tossed to the chickens, stale bread used to soak up grease in the hamburger skillet, already-been-chewed roast with a hidden strip of gristle, individual grains of week-old fried rice tossed to the chickens, a sinewy deer haunch with the hoof still attached, fish food pellets, and shop towels.

    I hope she averted her eyes from the pin-up girls on the beer posters that line the walls.

    That would be like giving a mouse a cookie. An open-BARn policy invites all dogs, even the chicken-killers from across the road. Then come the cats to watch the mice that already reside in the BARn. The goats refuse to be excluded. The deer get wind of it and decide to horn in. Before you know it, neighborhood horses, cattle, donkeys, snakes, lizards, possum, raccoons, moles, coyotes, rabbits, squirrels, and emus convene.

    It would be a regular Hick's Ark in dry dock.

  6. I'm so happy Juno has been reunited with you after her time in the BARn.
    I love your description of her, "all legs and human hazel eyes and feathery tail." She sounds like a wonderful pet.

  7. Donna,
    She is a loyal furry friend who sucks the very marrow out of life.