I’ve noticed it today for the first time: the changed light over the garden. I’ve also noticed a slight bit of color on the dogwood as Squirrel sat in it outside my writing desk window this morning chewing on a fruit indicating the slope down to Autumn.

For a bit of a change, I’ve turned the writing over to Katie this week. Katie is my shelter-adopted dog, my garden companion and bed warmer, among other things. She also helps keep my mind in the present as she is very good at it. The stage is all yours, Kate…

My name is Katie and I’m a Rat Terrier mix–probably Chihuahua. My mom, Jeannie, sometimes calls me “Katie the Nervous Dog.” She calls me “KATE” when she sees that I’ve gone potty on one of her many plants. Sometimes, when she is particularly exasperated at me, Mom refers to the former dog, Lou, and how he used a potty post. That doesn’t really work for me because posts are gender-specific to boy dogs. I’ve never heard Mom complain before this year, but I guess that’s because the last few summers have brought more rain than this. Dilutes things. Potty would probably be a good substitution for products like “Round Up.” Mom calls them “herbicides” because she is a professional. I realize ground cover plants are at risk for obvious reasons. There is always the lawn, but that makes circles even I don’t like.

Here is life in the garden as I see it:

Every day, I conduct the perimeter search, to make sure, one, that the boundaries of the property are free from intruders and two, to check the bunny tunnels. There is this one spot in particular behind the dappled willow that bunnies squeeze through because Noisy Neighbor lets his pokeweed grow really tall (I know this because Mom just hired Lawn Man to cut it down. Lawn Man makes me as nervous as Box Truck. They both smoke and spew forth fumes) and the bunnies can hide out in the thick of all that. This accomplished, I look for Black Cats…ooooooo….two of them, feral, who have taken to prowling the place at night. Mom is good with it because they help keep the bunnies in check as well although in my opinion, they are worse for the potty-on-plant problem, and I should really not take so much heat for it. Once they left a rat, killed but not eaten, even cats have their limits. Sort of like James Bond and his martini–“shaken, not stirred.” Today, both cats were in the garden; I chased one over the gate and the other up the birch tree where I held her captive until Mom took me for a walk and then confined me in the house.

Speaking of the walk, sometimes I get to walk with Mom and Dad (who I don’t like much but tolerate, more when he is in a submissive posture or with food) down to the community garden. There is a really fat ground hog down there who lives under the shed. Sadly, Mom ties me to the fir stake that supports the rabbit fencing and I can only dream of a close encounter.

My other job is to dig. Once Hawk dropped a bunny just outside the fence. I wanted it SOOOO badly; I duganddugandduganddug for like twenty minutes trying to get under the fence. I heard Mom shout out to me; I turned to look only for a second so I could stay focused. Drat. She saw what was going down and threw the dead carcass behind the garage and plugged up the nice whole I just dug with some bricks and rock. Sigh. Also outside the gate are the various dogs on their walks–Maggie, the Jack Russell, Ruff-Ruff, Lola the Pit Bull–I bark like crazy mad at all of them. Duffy, the Havanese across the street, has this high-pitched pseudo-bark that is on my nerves as much as Mom’s. So annoying. Maybe he will go through puberty and his voice will change.  

Best part of the garden for me? Sunning myself on the stone walkway. That feels so good. Must be the Chihuahua heritage that likes the warm, but never as warm as snuggling up with Mom. Pure doggie bliss.

Fertile Grounds....
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