Every so often, our dog will go outside, bark at some neighborhood squirrels for a while, and then settle down on the mahogany-colored deck, whining in sadness.
She seems to believe that barking and whining at those creatures that live in trees will knock some sense into them and make them come down so she can chase them, for once.
Of course, they never do, and so the summer days wheedle away while she sits somberly on the ground, whining at her “best friend”, a dark squirrel with red eyes we have named Blackie (for the color of his coat) to come down and play.
However, Blackie has other concerns: each spring, he has five or six baby squirrels that clamber all over the pine tree that looms over our deck, and they chirp and chatter to no extent. Blackie must tire of this; I know I would; but it just seems to excite Bindi further.
As a result, our neighbors often complain, and we lock her indoors. Often, she, unable to tempt us into playing with her, taking her for (another) walk, or letting her outdoors, whiles away the day by retiring to one of her three beds to sleep.
It was on one of these (not uncommon) days, when Bindi was lazily napping in the warmth of the sunshine streaming through one of our home’s plentiful windows that I was downstairs, sitting on the couch, snacking on some chips, and playfully flicking through the channels that Bindi fell quite fully asleep.
Nobody in our house took much notice of this; after all, it wasn’t strange for a four-year-old dog to take a nap in the middle of the day, was it?
Besides, it was a hot day, and we were all feeling quite drowsy ourselves.
So it was that everyone else in the house was asleep when I finally climbed the steps up to the top of the stairs, after watching a good two hours of solid television.
The moment my foot touched the floor of the upstairs, there was a frenzy and a pattering of claws, and a few seconds later, a very drowsy—yet determined, nonetheless—dog appeared out of the bedroom, neck fur up, a growl beginning in her throat.
Bindi let out a few sharp barks, growled and wuffed a little bit more, and then seemed to realize it was me. She froze.
Oh. Her frozen look seemed to say. It’s you. Sorry.
Then she turned and trotted—very sheepishly, may I add?—back into the bedroom, where she—again, very sheepishly—huddled into her blankets and hid her face.
For the rest of the day, whenever she saw my face, she would freeze, a blank look on her face, before seeming to say, Sorry.
From that day on, she (of course) continued to chase squirrels, but always kept it carefully in her mind where everybody in the house was.