This morning Jonathan and I had to get our chores done early so we could drive to Old Salem Farm in North Salem, NY to coach our junior rider on two of her horses at the big "A" rated horse show. We debated about bringing our dogs, but in the end we decided that we should leave them home, because it was going to quite hot, so into a spare stall they went with a pail of water and promises of a swift return.
The classes ran smoothly and Sarah rode really well. We all celebrated by taking an extra hour to sit in the shade and watch some of the Friday Grand Prix before we headed back to Millbrook. When we got home I let out our two pooches, who were THRILLED to see us! It's true that dogs don't hold grudges. I decided to get right to work and began turning a few horses out. As I released Cleo into a paddock, I saw the wife of the barn manager, who lives on the same property. She was walking up from the back field and she asked me if I'd seen the family's young black Lab, Ducque. Apparently, he'd been missing for some time and he never doesn't come when he's called. I assured her that I hadn't seen him, but I'd help look and I told her that our dogs had been locked in the barn so he hadn't been off on a walkabout with them. In between doing the turn outs, I saw she and her husband, Jorge driving around in the farm golf cart, calling the missing dog. How strange, I thought to myself. Where could that dog have gone to?
After getting the horses situated, I walked to the house to grab a bite to eat and change into riding clothes. Heading to the fridge to grab a bite of potato salad, I saw Big Zekie, our large male tiger cat emerge from the bedroom. He wandered over to me and meowed a hello, to which I responded by giving him some pats. He seemed a little more animated than usual, but I didn't give it much thought. Mia was on her pillow on my desk, Miss Girl was on the sofa and I put away the potato salad and went to see if Marbles was on our bed. There she was, curled up in a ridiculously comfortable position on Jonathan's pillows. All was well, kitties were safe. As I stood up from patting Marble, I saw a tail wagging from the corner of our bedroom. Our dogs are Aussies. They don't have tails. It was Ducque!! I leave the front door propped open so the cats/dogs can come and go as they please. My guess was that he'd come inside to see if his friends were in the house and wanted to come out to play. Ducque is a VERY shy dog. Sometimes, he won't come to me, very much a tail between the legs, submissive kind of guy. I escorted him outside and took him over to his parents house to explain where he'd been hiding out. As I walked across the lawn, I heard loud meowing behind me. It was Zeke following me. Now this was strange, I thought. Zeke is never this demonstrative with his affection. He trotted right to me and rubbed on my legs. Then it dawned on me. Zeke had probably been holding Ducque hostage in our bedroom. He's been known to be a bit of a brute and he'd obviously taken advantage of Ducque's shy spirit and kept him at bay in our bedroom...for hours. He saw an intruder and took it into his own paws to keep him here until we got home. We've all heard of cat burglars, and this was a dog burglar! Zeke was on duty and Ducque was not going to get away with this illegal intrusion if he had anything to do with the situation. I literally had to pick up Zeke to prevent him from barging into our neighbors house to enforce his police skills.
We all had a big laugh over the situation and Zeke came down to the barn after the dog was safely delivered home to rub, preen and receive congratulations for his exemplary skills at "protecting" our home. Who needs a Pit Bull? We have Big Zekie, an overweight, teenage grey tiger cat with a set of mad skillz. I'll be giggling over this one for some time. And Zeke got an extra teaspooon of Fancy Feast tonight for his efforts. Ahh, animals, gotta love them. They do make us laugh. And I don't think Ducque will ever darken our doorway again!