Trudy Andrew | Canadian Author

Tails From the Farm

A Good Dog

Chap was a good dog. Sure, he went after Honey Pizzazz that one time, but other than that, he was a pretty good dog. He was highly intelligent, except for that one time he went after Honey, and he was incredibly easy to train. When hubby and I were first married, he often stayed in Winnipeg after work or went in on weekends, to service the trucks or work on his car engine. I would go home after a day of driving truck, work on the house and play with the horses. I say play with the horses, as working with them sounds unpleasant, and I loved doing anything with them. I didn’t mind being by myself so much. Hubby didn’t have to be home to entertain me. I could find plenty to keep myself busy with.
One rainy, Friday evening, I was home alone as per usual, just Chap and I, hanging out and watching television. Time ticked by, yet I was comfortably curled up on the couch. Chap was stretched out on the livingroom carpet, snoozing. Once in a while, there was a bit of lightning in the distance while the rain continued to steadily hit the windows. It was our first spring on the farm, and there wasn’t much to do outside after it rained, so the weekend was pretty well a write-off when it came to getting any work done. There wouldn’t be any fences made or lawn mowed. Outside work would have to wait until better days. So Chap and I were hanging out, chilling, waiting for the man to come home, when Chap suddenly, ever so slowly stood … all slow motion like, growling while he did. It was the weirdest thing, and totally freaked me out. This wasn’t normal behaviour, and he wasn’t quitting. Hackles raised, his head turned towards the front door, the door we never used. The door there wasn’t even a path to. He leapt at the door then stood there with his nose to the bottom, a deep growl, building and reverberating throughout the room. He’d never done anything like that before, not ever.
“What’s the matter, Chap? Do you hear something?” I asked to calm my nerves and remain sensible, “come, come lie down.”
An ear flicked my way, but his nose stayed glued to that tiny gap along the bottom of the door. A second later, he leapt from the door to the nearest window, then the window behind where I was sitting, then back to the front door. The growl was ever so loud now. He was so angry, so obviously protective that it was making me incredibly nervous. I turned on the big, outside light yet saw nothing at all. I couldn’t see anything out the rain-streaked windows either, yet Chap said something was going on. He said it with every fibre of his being. Something was out there, and he wasn’t happy about it. When he ran to the back door then just as swiftly, returned to the front door. He was losing his mind, and I was beginning to get really nervous. I wasn’t about to let Chap outside to deal with whatever was going on. I wanted him with me, inside. I called hubby to see how long he’d be. The news wasn’t good. He wasn’t going to be done, for at least a couple more hours, all the while, Chap was racing from doors to windows to tell me in no uncertain terms, there was trouble brewing. Still, I didn’t want to make hubby come home for nothing. He had so much work to finish, he shouldn’t have to race home for something that could very well be nothing. I hung up with him, and as I watched Chap being a raging lunatic, I decided to call one of the neighbours. When I’d come home from work, I’d noticed that they were having a get together. Rain or not, they liked to enjoy their Fridays with friends around a fire. Maybe Gerry would come over and take a look around for me, just to alleviate my worries. Thankfully, he’s a very easygoing guy, and immediately said he’d pop right over. He and a few of his buddies would come and check things out.
“Just stay in the house,” he cheerfully said, “we’ll pop right over and take a look around.”
Five minutes had barely passed, when Gerry drove into the yard. Back then, we hadn’t graveled much of the yard. It wasn’t possible to drive into the back, or around the buildings either. The best they could do was, drive up to the quonset and take a bit of a walk around. After about fifteen minutes of checking things out, Gerry came up to the house to let me know that they hadn’t seen anything. Everything appeared to be fine. I thanked him and his friends, and away they went. Immediately thereafter, Chap settled right down. Whatever had been upsetting him so greatly was now gone. Just like that, his concerns were poof, gone. Hubby got home a few hours later and after telling him about Chap’s behaviour, and that the neighbour had come to check things out for me, we went to bed.
The next morning, hubby came back to the house, after going out to do some work in the garage. “Hey,” he called to me, “are you busy? I want to show you something outside.”
“What is it?” eternally curious, I wanted to know. I don’t know why, but I always want to know ahead of time. You know, just in case a fast one is about to be pulled on me, or some such thing. A girl can never be too careful, even when the person is the one you’re married to. Possibly even more so, when the man you’re married to, is the one not willing to give more information. Well, I followed him outside, all the way to the back behind the quonset, straight to where we parked the backhoe.
“What do you see?” he asked, as if I should immediately notice something. Glancing over the big machine, I didn’t notice anything right off the bat. Still, I knew there was something, because hubby was looking at me with that expression that said I was a dummy if I didn’t see what was wrong, or different. There had to be something, but what? Then I saw it. There was damage to one of the doors. Someone had tried to pry open the door to our backhoe. I exchanged a look with hubby. Chap hadn’t lied to me. There had been someone outside the house the night before. From the way he behaved likely several someones. Someone had been at the front of the house, and someone had been at the back, the way Chap had run around, said as much. If he hadn’t been in the house with me that night, anything could’ve happened. Clearly, whoever it had been, had been up to no good. An innocent person would’ve knocked on the door, not gone sneaking around. They wouldn’t have tried to steal a backhoe either. That dog saved me that night. I’m sure of it.

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About Trudy Andrew

Trudy Andrew lives on a small farm just east of Winnipeg, Manitoba, where she enjoys her Morgan horses. A dreamer since she was a child, its no surprise to those who know her well that her imagination would find an outlet in writing, as it has in the past through artwork.
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 Oakbank, MB