It was beautiful day Sunday morning, the colors of fall trying to cling to the trees long enough to give us the full palette all at once, orange, brown, green, red and yellow.
My dog Ted is a mutt. He’s a lab/ retriever mix, and we thought he perhaps had a little chow-chow in him because of his black-spotted tongue, his bushy tail and his weird-yet-lovable personality. I think the last trait is something he picked up from his master.
I live in Vassar, about a half-hour north of Davison where the office is, just a short jaunt over from Burton. My house is right outside the city limits and stands on four city plots, which means the yard is about three-quarters brush and trees. It’s a great place to live, because it offers the quiet peacefulness of country living while being two-tenths of a mile from Shell and McDonald’s.
Old Ted, he’s got a hair trigger … he might get that from his master too, unfortunately, although I’ve calmed down a bit as I glide gracefully through my late-30s.
Anyway, I was just getting out of the shower when I heard Ted going bonkers in the living room.
So here I am in my boxer shorts, and all of a sudden my trusty dog goes deathly silent. I have to go investigate and see what’s happening. When I enter the living room, I see Ted staring transfixed out the back window, and when I see what he sees, I’m transfixed too.
There, on the far edge of the lawn, on a path that leads to a bonfire pit my brother and I cut out from the brush, stands a beautiful whitetail doe, probably a couple hundred pounds, looking pretty healthy. And all of a sudden, right past the back door streaks a good-sized fawn, maybe a spring baby who still had his tell-tale white flecks on his brown fur. Ted and I just stand in amazement as this little guy makes one, two, three big laps around the backyard — into the brush by the pines, out of the brush past his mama, behind the grapes, under the pear tree and the two apple trees, around the rock garden and once more past the patio door. Ted looks up at me and whimpers. I’ve heard a lot of horror stories about dogs chasing deer, but what usually happens is Ted spots one in the backyard, and the deer are fast enough and graceful enough to lose him before he reaches the neighbor’s driveway.
Either way, I’m not letting him out to tussle with the fawn, although I bet the two could have fun chasing each other around. Ted’s a good cat chaser too, but once he catches one he either gets bapped in the face or just stands there grinning until the cat runs away again.
I guess that’s why neither of us go deer hunting — we wouldn’t know what to do with one if we caught it.
Bill Petzold is a staff writer for the Burton View. You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.