I swear to you all, if there was any doubt, that I have nothing -- NOTHING -- to do with the weather! So please, stop calling the hot, uncomfortable, and humid days "Dog Days".
Even our normally comfortable and easy-going morning walks have been oppressed by thick, muggy air. I have to drag the hairy guy up the hill most days. More so since he hurt his back. And it's not just us. Everything seems to have slowed down to an agonized crawl. I'm not very old, but I think I remember this from when I was a puppy. I just hope I remember right, and it will stop soon.
Even though we haven't been outside often, I've been keeping my nose to the ground, trying to figure out what is leaving those strange smelling trails along the edges of my yard. It's not rabbit, but all I ever see out there is rabbit and squirrel. There was something out front that looked like another dog a couple of weeks ago, and the family spotted it and started yelling "Fox". It smelled like a cross between a dog and a cat, but it never really showed up where I could investigate.
But I think the humans know what this other smell is, even though their little button noses don't work that well. The hairy Dad guy keeps the big wooden fort in the back corner closed, and goes in there every now and then to look around. It's not a place I have any desire to go into, but the trails I find all seem to crisscross along the walls. The other day when he was in there, he came running out, making a gagging sound; he got a couple of bags out of the house, and went back in the shed, muttering, "Friggin' rats... disgusting."
Then he brought something small out, all wrapped in the bags, and threw it away in the front trash. I didn't get very close, because he seemed upset, but I definitely caught a whiff of that smell again. I may have to work up the nerve to go in there one of these days.
I asked Peter about it, but he doesn't like to tell me anything in a straightforward way. He's the rabbit I usually find in the middle of my yard when I get let out there. I wouldn't call him my friend, but he's the only critter out there with any brains that will talk to me at all. The squirrels are usually too busy playing their stupid games on the power lines to hold a conversation, and they don't pay much attention to life on the ground.
But Peter just laughs when I ask him about the Smell. "You're some dog, you know that?" he sneers. Or he'll tell me, "Just let us professionals deal with it, a'ight?"
Those danged rabbits are so superior, I'd just love to knock one down a notch. But I don't think I'll do any damage if I do catch one, now. I need to find out whatever they can tell me about that Smell. It could be important.
Last week, the family had to go somewhere with a bunch of flags (I think they said there were six of them), and couldn't take me. So, they put my crate down in the laundry room, where a concrete floor runs the length of the house. They blocked off a couple of areas they didn't want me to use as a toilet, and gave me some food.
While I was down there, I did a little exploring, and didn't find anything interesting. I was just going to have a snack, when I heard something. There is a big, metal hose that comes out of the back of one of the machines, and goes out a hole in the bricks. Something in there was moving!
I listened for a minute, and heard whispering voices:
"It's blocked off. I can't get through."
"Try chewing something."
"Ow! It's all metal."
"Alright, come back out. We'll find another way in."
I didn't like this at all. I started barking. Whatever it was, trapped in that hose, must have been scared out of its mind. Heh, heh. The echoes in there must have been horrible!
I heard the whisperers scuttle out the hole, and felt a little burst of triumph. I had saved the house!
But the good feeling only lasted until I heard a sharp little voice echoing down the hose from outside. "Nice one, dog. You cost Vinnie an eye. Watch your back from now on."
I told myself not to worry. After all, whatever it was sounded small. I was more upset that in the fuss, I had knocked all my food into the water bowl. But when the family got home, and let me out, I happened to notice the vent that opens out from that hole in the bricks.
It reeked of that Smell.