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The watchdog

Lead Summary

HCP columnist

I stood at the kitchen sink, washing the dinner dishes and looking out across the deck.

Their backs were toward me. I noticed, for the first time, that their shoulders were right at the same height, as they sat there on the edge of the deck.

One of them had his arm around the other.

They were looking out across the upper field, each lost quietly in his own thoughts.

A small bird flew by, and the doggish one quickly perked up his ears and turned his head to follow its path, but he did not budge from his companion’s side.

If anything, he leaned even more closely in toward Greg’s stillness. The grass just beyond them had seemingly turned overnight into a lush green carpet. The newly mowed spring green was punctuated with the bold colors of the chickens, who were leisurely pecking their way across the yard, drawing closer to their evening roost.

I watched as the rooster stood up straight and puffed out his chest, calling his hens to his side. They scurried over to him, and as a flock they began to make their way down to the coop.

A gentle breeze began to blow across the backs of the deck sitting pair. I could see the wind stir through Greg’s hair. The evening air was cooling. Still, the two did not move, sitting like motionless statues.

My dishes were done and I dried my hands, but I was reluctant to leave the window.

I was curiously drawn to the scene outside. I could hear the creek’s birds singing and chirping from the hillsides.

I could see the rabbits lazily stretching out across their cages. I watched as the goats ambled contentedly across their yard, nibbling on the hay that Greg had given them just before dinner.

I heard the pigeons cooing, and then, one by one, the chickens began to climb the ramp into their coop.

From my window, I wondered who would be the first to break the still reverie on the side of the deck, but in time, as I stood and watched, Greg slowly stretched, and stood up.

His companion still sat, but looked up at him, brow furrowed, head to one side, as if to say “Why leave now?”

But the yard around the chicken coop needed to be shut, the laundry still had to be taken in from the line before the dark and dew set in, and as the daylight slipped into darkness, two tired creek dwellers needed to head up to the loft to sleep. It was a good spot out there on the side of the deck, and by dog standards, it was a warm evening.

He stretched out and lay down, his paws hanging just over the edge.

As I brought the laundry inside, I heard him sigh deeply. He was settled in. He would keep watch as his people, his world, fell fast asleep.

Christine Tailer is a columnist for The Highland County Press.

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