No, I’m not kidding. I dropped my flash drive in the dooryard and Moose, my big yellow mutt ate it. Well he crunched it up and spit it out. It’s probably a good thing he didn’t swallow it, who knows what it would have done to his innards if he had. It had a nearly complete novel on it that I hadn’t fully backed up. You should have heard me bitch and moan about rewriting those last chapters, I swear it was like pulling teeth to recreate them. I never did get the other data off that drive, it was mangled beyond recognition. I should have named that dog The Destroyer or Tank. Destructo, even. Moose just doesn’t do him justice.
About this time someone in the back has their hand up asking “what’s a dooryard?” In the west we might have called it the driveway, but out here in the east it’s the area of the yard where the cars get parked. I’ll show you a picture of mine. Notice that it’s not paved – that’s because I live in Vermont where not even the roads are paved. Okay, so some of the roads are paved, like the interstate and the larger town roads. We even have whole villages on dirt roads. I’m a native Californian, the dirt road thing blew me away when I first moved here.
People used to be afraid to drive into my dooryard. Until recently I had a sweet, if slightly eccentric black lab named Midnight. Unlike most labs she felt it was her duty to protect us from all interlopers, both friends and strangers. Hackles up, teeth bared, she made her displeasure clear. The UPS man was afraid to deliver packages. Strangers almost never had the nerve to make it all the way to the door and even my friends had their doubts. She never actually bit anyone that I know of, but she made it clear she was willing. I think she might have been part lab, part piranha.
The UPS drivers solved the dog problem by dropping packages on the ground in the dooryard and driving away. Which worked fine until Moose came to live with us. He thinks the packages are for him. There’s nothing like coming home to find my dog tossing boxes in the air and pouncing on them. We never did find the Christmas puzzle I bought for the kids’ advent calendar. Eight acres is a lot of ground to cover when searching for things hidden by a hording dog. It makes me wonder what else is out there waiting to be discovered. I would guess the rubber mallet that went missing from the garage at least. And probably my favorite trowel. The underwear that went awol off the clothesline.
And shoes. If the number of shoes missing their pair is any indication, there must be a Shoes.com for dogs out there in my field somewhere.
Zoey, our Beagle mix, is feeling left out. So I’ll just tell you that she is perfectly well behaved, unless there is a thunder storm. Then she eats the house. Think Tasmanian Devil meets Snoopy and you’ll have some idea of what happened to the porch wall. I used to love thunder storms.
Kate George is the author of the Bree MacGowan Mystery Series set in rural Vermont. The latest, Crazy Little Thing Called Dead, was released September 30, 2012, and features a Bulgarian assassin, intrepid federal agent Richard Hambecker, Planet Hair, the local hair salon turned murder scene. And Bree, of course, who really doesn’t like being told what to do. Visit her website http://www.kategeorge.com/