Jack the Dog defends his territory.
I’ve been living at Howard Mesa for almost a full month now. And it’s been almost a full month since I’ve had a good night’s sleep.
The problem is Jack the Dog. You see, he feels as if he has to protect me from animals of the night. I’m talking about coyotes.
Howard Mesa is home to a wide range of wildlife, including rabbits (cottontails and jackrabbits), antelope, elk, coyotes, ravens, hummingbirds, nighthawks, and a variety of other birds. Since our property is fenced-in, we don’t usually see antelope or elk. This year, we haven’t seen any coyotes (yet) either. But that doesn’t mean we haven’t heard them.
Every night, packs of coyotes on various parts of the mesa, howl. They do it around sunset and then at various times throughout the night. The sound is distant and rather pleasant in a wild sort of way. It doesn’t usually wake me. It isn’t usually close enough to be that loud.
But it’s loud enough for Jack the Dog to hear, even in the dead of night when he, Alex the Bird, and I are sound asleep. And every time he hears those darn coyotes, he reacts the same way: by barking.
So, in the middle of the night, I’m likely to be awakened by my own dog barking at least two or three times.
The other night, he barked so suddenly that I heard Alex the Bird fall of the perch in his sleeping cage.
I don’t know why he barks at the coyotes here. He doesn’t do it at home. There’s no threat of coyotes attacking us in our camper. And they really aren’t very close.
Tonight, I’m bringing a cup of water to bed with me. When Jack barks, he’ll not only get yelled at, but doused. We’ll see if that makes things any better.
I’d like to sleep a whole night through.