Sunday, May 15, 2016

Night patrol and Kuchen

     They warned me at PUP camp it would happen, though I didn’t expect for it to happen so soon. I was developing strong feelings of attachment to the MaMA. It only took a few days, but I really was forming a strong bond with her. Not only did she feed me, and brush my fur, but there was this insatiable pull that made me want to be by her side at all times.
     MaMA was fun to play with, I mean, train with. She initiated this game where she would place a blanket on the floor, lay next to it, then using her hands under the blanket, raise the blanket in spots. I pounced on the rising, racing, and moving mounds, sharpening my reflexes and speed. The MaMA was quick and used the cover well to her advantage. Just when I thought I had caught her hand, it would pop up next me.
     After a while, we were both panting. She laughed in delight at my mad skills.
     "You are so fast," she said in breathless praise. "And smart. Schnapps did you see how fast she was?" 
     Schnapps stood on one side of the blanket. She cocked her head and waggled her butt. 
     "Yes, she is very good," Schnapps agreed. Her butt waggle was stiff. I watched her. Unlike most dogs who would wag their tail in agreement, or happiness, Schnapps, who was short on tail, compensated by swinging her butt from side to side. Though, I assumed, because of her injury, she couldn't wag as enthusiastically as she wanted.
     MaMA looked at her watch and stood up. 
     "Okay, time for good girls to go out one last time."
Schnapps perked up at this order and practically skipped over to the door. I was confused by her sudden energetic mobility. I ran over to the door, but since I am still not proficient as I would like to be on the slick wooden floor, I lost my footing and slid until I hit the rug.
     MaMA let us out. The night was dark as it was cold. There were overhead lights lit up only a portion of our boundries. 
     "Are we going to do a night patrol," I asked watching my breath form billowy puffs in the air. My voice shook from the freezing night temperature, but Schnapps took it as from fear.
     "Not to worry, little von. Ve only vill do a quick one around the house and outbuilding," She said. She walked along the edge of the light, her shadow swallowed up by the darkness.
     I summoned up my courage and followed. Just to prove I wasn't afraid, I walked on the outskirts of the lighted snow. We circled around the house and crossed the lot to the outbuilding. There was another overhead light there, which cast enough light to see around the whole building. We got to the back and I got the sense we were not alone.
     I froze in my tracks and scanned the darkness.
     "Vat is wrong?" Schnapps stopped as well, then sniffed the air. 
     "I don't know what it is. It seems...wild."
     "Shush," Schnapps said. "Listen."
     I shut my eyes and concentrated on listening, but could only hear the rapid beating of my own heart. Then, just over the thumping, I heard a far off yap, yap, yap. It started off as a single high pitched voice, but soon others joined it.
     "What is that," I asked alarmed at the foreign chorus.
     "Kojote. Vild dogs," Schnapps said. “Dey are vild, unpredictable, and very dangerous."
     I shivered. "It sounds like they have us surrounded. What should we do?"
     "Nothing. Dey won't bother us as long as we don't bother dem. Dey are not well liked by the residents of Cedar Village, so they keep their distance." Schnapps continued down the side of the building and turned the corner.
     I took another look into the darkness. The presence I felt earlier had left, so I continued the perimeter check.
     By the time I turned around the corner, I could hear melodic crooning from the Wood Pile.
When the cat catch
little mice, dear
and he shows them
his pearly fangs.
Its the end, dear 

for the mice, see
Its dinner, dinner for us tonight. 

     Laughter and loud mewing mingled with the music. Schnapps stood just past the entrance, motioning to me to hurry up. I kept walking, and tried not to make any loud noises. Over all the racket from the club, though, I thought I could hear a very small cry for help. 
I ran to Schnapps.
     "Someone needs help, I just heard it," I said when I reached her. She looked over to the entrance, then turned away. "Not our problem."
     "But, I heard a cry for help," I said.
     "I said, not our problem." Seeing my anguish, she added. "Look, I know dey do things in dere dat are not nice. But we have an agreement. We cannot get involved with vat happens in de Wood Pile." She turned and returned back to the house.
     I couldn't believe that we were just going to let whoever that was go unaided. It didn't seem right to me. Schnapps was my partner, and mentor. Could I continue to follow her lead, even if it conflicted with my conscience?
     "All secure," The MaMA inquired as she let us in. "Who's ready for their good night cookies?"
Schnapps jumped up and down on her front legs, her floppy ears bounced as well. I sat next to her and looked at her.
     "What are you so excited about?"
     "Kuchen. You vill want de cookies," she said as she sat, her eyes full of want.
     "Cookies?" I watched MaMA go to a jar on the kitchen counter.
She pulled out a handful of items.
     "She vill toss you a kuchen, try to catch it," Schnapps said giving me a sideways glance. "You won't regret it."
     The MaMA stood before us. She took one of the cookies between her thumb and forefinger, and tossed it into the air. Schnapps leapt forward and caught it in her mouth. She crunched happily on the cookie, then sat still, her eyes back on MaMA.
     MaMA turned to me and said, "Shall we test the little brown dog's hand-eye coordination? Or I guess in this case, mouth-eye coordination?"
     She took another cookie and tossed it in my direction. I watched it arc in the air and come down. It struck me between the eyes before I could open my mouth. It bounced off my snout and skittered across the floor.
     I went to retrieve it and took it in my mouth. I chewed on it and immediately understood what all the hubbub was about. The crunchy morsel was sweet and nutty. A tasty reward for all the work we had done during the day. I wanted another, so I ran back and slid in place next to Schnapps.
     "I told you," she said with a wink.
     I didn't say anything, but concentrated on the next toss. 

     Even though MaMA said that sleeping in her bed was a one time thing, I found it very easy to talk her into another night. It didn't take much. I sat at the edge of her bed and gave a pathetic whine. She tried to resist for a few minutes, but after a few short howls, she leaned over the edge and lifted me onto the bed. I know I have a perfectly good bed on the floor, but after having a taste of luxury, you can't go back to sleeping on a small pillow. I also realized that just a few short days ago, I was perfectly happy sleeping in a squirmy pile of puggle pups outside on the sleeping porch. Time flies when you are being spoiled, I guess.
     As I snuggled up to MaMA's warm body I thought about how nice and cushy it was. Schnapps preferred to sleep on the couch on the second floor. I began to think of how she spent a lot of time up on the couch, while I took my naps on the floor. 
     The couch seemed more desirable than being on the floor. For one thing, it didn't look hard like the floor was. Secondly, the MaMA sat up there too, and would give Schnapps pets and massages. I've never had a massage myself, but Schnapps sure looked like she enjoyed it. 

I had to get up on that couch. It didn't seem like it would be an impossible jump. Perhaps, if I took a running start, and timed it just right, I could make it.
     I promised myself I would try tomorrow, after I had mastered the stairs. 

No comments:

Post a Comment