September is a great month, the weather has cooled a bit and hunting seasons have started to open. Even Scooter seems to know things are different. The other day I put her hunter-orange safety coat on her and her personality changed. Normally when I let her out she just goes around the yard sniffing and marking her territory. With her hunting coat on she checked every tree for squirrels and barked her challenge to the world. It was as though she was letting every critter know that a hunting dog was ready to rumble. I couldn't help but laugh.
Dogs are such special creatures, and Scooter is my constant companion. All I need do is open the door on my van and she is in the passenger seat ready to ride shotgun. She does the same when I start the Mule or fire up the boat. If I am going somewhere she wants to go with me. Staying at home is not an option.
Going with me means that there are times she has to wait in the car while I run into the hardware or some other store. Lately, however, I have read accounts of well meaning people calling law enforcement when they see a dog alone in a car. While I commend anyone who cares for the well being of dogs, I must caution them to make certain of the circumstances before they hit 911. How long will the dog be left in the car and is it freezing cold or baking hot? I would never leave Scooter in a car that is too hot or too cold, but there are times when she must wait for me while I attend to business.
After a morning hunt I often stop for breakfast. Until I find a restaurant that will allow hunting dogs to partake of breakfast Scooter will have to wait in the van. It can be cold during hunting season, but by the time I get to a restaurant the van will be cozy warm. Scooter will have her blanket on her favorite seat and will have already eaten breakfast. My dog eats before I eat. Oh yes. I also will bring her a scrambled egg from the restaurant. After a hard morning's hunt Her Highness likes to top off her Alpo with a scrambled egg.
"Living like a dog" might be a derogatory statement to some, but at the Harding residence it is not a bad way to live. Even at home we would not think of sitting down to a meal until Scooter's dish is full. Her usual meal consists of Alpo with maybe a bit of rice that we warm up in the microwave. She also likes a little cottage cheese on occasion. If we have dessert, she gets a doggy treat. Is she spoiled? Decide for yourself, but Scooter thinks all dogs live like this.
Sleeping arrangements vary, but they vary according to Scooter's wishes. She has her pick of two couches, two easy chairs and three beds. She might use any one of these or all three in a single night. One thing is certain and that is that sooner or later she will end up in bed with Barb and me.
Being a full blooded mountain cur means that Scooter can jump like a track star, so it is no problem for her to jump into our bed whenever she wants. She usually jumps up at the foot of the bed except during the middle of the night. For some reason she waits until I am sound asleep before she sits on the floor next to me and begs for me to get up and let her have my pillow. By the time I get back into bed there is no room for me and I have to scoot (pun intended) her over. We have the same territory dispute over my easy chair.
It is not always easy being owned by a dog, but the joy she brings to our life makes it all worthwhile. There is nothing we would not do for Scooter, so if you see her sitting in my Expedition, be assured that she will not be alone for long. If I am having breakfast she will be rewarded with a scrambled egg. She sure has a tough life, doesn't she?