Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Kill the Wabbit!

I recently had a guest at the crash pad for dinner -  a Squirrel friend of mine who served two tours in the Sandbox, worked as a State Cop and now does something that would make for a much more interesting TV show than my work.  He was in town for a meeting of some sort and came on over to spend some time and meet Abby Lab. He's the closest thing I have to a little brother, though we are only related by years of service and friendship and not by blood.

It really was a beautiful evening - despite a brisk wind. Other than the area of the street lights, it was almost impossible to see the difference between sky and open land that lies next to where I live during the work week, no fences, just open ground.  It made for a serene and enigmatic landscape and a good one to walk Abby.

My friend went with me. With six foot tree inches of muscle at my six o'clock position, I was comfortable taking Abby further out afield to walk then immediately around my driveway, for approaching dark, as a woman, I don't wander too far into the shadows.

"Let's go this way" I said, with that tone that was less a woman giving direction and more that command that was mine for so many years.
As we strolled silently, fanning out into the grass, Abby sniffing everything in reach, I thought back to that day where I had command of my first ship, a large ugly box of a transport plane, but it was mine, as were the bars on my shoulders. As I gave the command to "Turn Two", there was a momentary dryness in my mouth, as I spoke those simple words to a night much like this, silent and heavy with both probability and dew.

Taking on that yoke of responsibility, comes with it much reflection, as you open that cockpit door for the first time as the Skipper, as full of faith as if opening the door to some secret shrine. You learn quickly, how to adapt and change and even more importantly, that you are just one person and without your crew, you are nothing. Especially, to that crew chief that fears neither God nor the Devil, man or weather, and hates all pilots on sight and you most of all, which all new pilots secretly believe, even as it's not true.

With the wry countenance of a watchful parent he gives the signal, fuel is introduced and your night starts

It was hours later, the mission completed, when I was fighting sleepiness even a the stars themselves seemed to tire of the night, that the seat started to feel familiar.  But it's something that never left, and with rare exception, I'm usually the one in charge,.
Being married to another  Type A personality - well that can get interesting. Driving with each other is sometimes fraught with much laughter and gentle teasing as one of us tries, without success, to tell the other what to do. You know, as each of us clearly knows we are the superior driver, But we try and be patient, and take terms being Pilot in Command, he with his dark glasses that might hide that look, me with my invisible brake pedal. Apparently, we are not alone in this. Last weekend my husband looked at me and said "I just watched that Amazing Race Show. You know how we are in cars? . . we're AMATEURS!".  And we both laughed.

But it's my nature to lead, even as almost all of the people that are close to me are also natural leaders.  Some honed that skill from the cockpit of an airplane - which can be as serene as the imperceptible motion of a becalmed ship or as violent as a paint shaker.  Decisions are made with split second timing  and often much Adrenalin only to then sit for hours with nothing happening, as the land profiles ahead of you as flat and as matte as black paper cut from the sky, fallen to earth Others do it in building a business, or those battles that are the downfall or the saving grace of man. Some aren't cut out for it, such decisions leaving them a doubtful shadow of themselves trembling in the glare of action.
But I'm aware of my nature and try to walk that line between leader and bossy. My friends understand, they themselves holding that sense of preparedness that often, only those that pursue a calling they love, are aware of.  We know our strengths and we also know when to ask for help,  We also expect the unexpected-- something that not only pilots are familiar with.  Anyone that deals with mother nature in the course of their work knows about it. We know too well those fitful and deceitful winds that built and dashed hopes, promises of destinations ending in lost grounds and  strange airports. We are the bearers of those dashed hopes for a hot bed or even a hot meal, expiring in sighs that die into mute stillness in which the weather gods had to have their own way--their own inhospitable way.

Anyone that deals with human nature knows it as well, vain hopes and fitful errors, grandiose plans broken down by ego into small bits waiting for others to sweep it up and make it whole, while they move onto the next disaster.  Then there are the critics - people that love to tear down that which they themselves can not build.

Still - I'd take it over a life that's flat, safe and bland, as unseasoned as the soul that walks in it.
Such are the things I think about, even on a night's walk with a friend.

We ended up cutting across an open grassy area of property in the little community I live in, even if part time, the grass cut short that day. My friend, walking at a distance at my 9 o'clock, had Abby's leash and she stuck her nose down wn in the grass drinking in the smell of something.

And it wasn't grass.

As she popped her head up I could see from the faint glow of a streetlight that she had something in her mouth, about the size and shape of a smaller Nerf football.

My friend looks down and says, dead calm, "It's a dead rabbit". Likely killed by the the large mower that cuts this big swath of grass each week.

"Abby Drop it drop drop it", I cried out, helpless to do much else from a distance.

She knows "drop it" from playing with toys but she wasn't having any part of it, even for the treat I pulled from my pocket and hoped she would see from the distance in the darkness.

As I said "Drop it" again she tried to wolf Mr. Rabbit down, I could see the movement in her throat as she tried to swallow it whole. Remembering the explosive results of just one piece of chicken I didn't want to go there, even if it didn't choke her in the process.. I looked at my friend with a cry. .

"get it get it  get it!

He was already reaching down to pry the dead rabbit from her mouth- which he did both expertly and gently while I moved to her side.

Abby was very pissed off, giving him a look that menfolk the world over would recognize. I also realized that no matter how much you think you are in charge, how many titles you have, or what your rank is, to a dog with a piece of dead animal in it's mouth you are simply

Blah Blah Abby!  Blah Blah Abby!

Sometimes we need that lesson.
Life doesn't always go the way we want, rain may etch marks into the perfect earth humans may rend and tear that which you have built up, and somewhere there is always a wascally, wascally wabbit,

As we headed back towards the house so I could call my husband as my friend headed on back out, I realize how very lucky I have been in my great misadventure which is life.  I look upwards, at the stars, and see with it the sun, the light, the darkness, great seas and vast skies the limitless creation of God's own seven days, which this one small soul blundered into unbidden, connecting with other small souls that then joined in that web that is camaraderie, that is life.

I wouldn't trade any of it for anything.
Kill the Wabbit


  1. Hari Om...
    Yes, pets are certainly great 'levellers'!

    Meanwhile Abby - galdog, you so nearly scored... but you do know that mum only had your best interests at heart, right? The other thing I know you poochies to be good at is not holding grudges. Tomorrow is another day. &*>

    Hugs and wags, YAM-aunty xxx

  2. YAM-Aunty - indeed!

    Everyone - blogging may be a bit spotty the next couple of weeks and the diet blog is on a hiatus while I get moved and start my new job. Abby, however, is thrilled to be home full time. I'll travel back and forth the next few weeks without her to get stuff loaded up.

  3. Aww man, Abby, I'm sorry you didn't get to eat your rabbit!!

  4. My little furball managed to roll in something dead last week when my attention wavered. It was either a long- and I mean Loooong-dead goose/rabbit carcass or the toxic waste under the park is finally bubbling up through the EPA Superfund cleanup cap that got put on the area several years ago.

    Ava Anderson non-toxic pet shampoo does wonders for her fur, not so much though with the toxic smell removal. And all this before coffee in the oh-dark-thirty of the morning. It's a good thing she's cute.

  5. I often give my mom a realty check. it is my job.
    stella rose

  6. I've got that lesson too... with a dead blackbird... and I wonder why drop it! is always the start signal to wolf it down whatever it is... I added disposable gloves to my walking equipment, it's a little odd to remove a shredded bird with nekked hands :o)

  7. When I was a pup, I caught a baby grackle and almost swallowed it head-first when ghostwriter yanked it out of my mouth! What's up with that?


Welcome to The Book of Barkley and the Blogville dog blogging community. This blog was created for more memories of Barkley as well as updates on Abby the Senior rescue Lab, who we adopted in 2014.

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