Thursday, May 17, 2007

Dogtown Dramas

We are leaving Rancho Kuma today, for the DogFather's place. He's just gone under the knife and we'll be there to help him around as he recuperates.

Big Dog has not put the ranch up for sale yet, although all the paperwork is in place to do so. Somehow I keep hoping he'll have a change of heart. That hope has lifted my spirits the last few days, as we went on a watering/tidying spree. And yesterday, much more was on my mind than losing the ranch…

"Do you know if The Girls took Pooka somewhere?" I asked BD. "She's nowhere to be seen…" We call Horse Girl and her mom "The Girls," collectively. Pooka is their 15 year old Chihuahua.
"You know, I went to give them a treat last night and only saw Magic. I thought Pooka was just in her house, so I said to hell with it and gave the whole milk bone to Magic."

What could have happened? Pooka's an old girl, so I sure hope she didn't have a heart attack in the middle of the night… I go to her house in the orchard and pull out the quilt that she likes to hide under. She's not there, but there IS the tiniest beige frog.

Oh, my god, she's been turned into a frog!! (I am suddenly Delmar of "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" -- "He's been turned into a toad!")

I look around the Waka Orchard as I water the 10 apple trees, hoping I don't come across a Pooka corpse.

"Unlikely. Magic would have raised a ruckus if anything happened to Pooka while they were there," I think.
"Magic, where's Pooka?" I keep asking. Magic, thinking I am asking him if he wants a treat, wags his butt (he has only the smallest stub of a tail, so wags his entire butt when excited.)
"Maybe she became Bob's dinner," I wonder. "Like little kitty, Tabiko…"
No one has seen Tabiko since…well, since I saw Bob near the creek. We all suspect foul play. Pooka being the next smallest creature on the ranch, might have been Bob's dinner the night before. Who's next?

"Scruffy?" asks BD.
"Naw. Signor Gatto is street smart, or rather, farm smart. He can hold his own."
"Patches?"
"Yeah, fat old Patches might be next."

All day, we wonder. Did Pooka get crushed under the wheels of one of the nursery trucks? Eaten by Bob? Strangled by a gopher snake? Carried off by a falcon? Mauled to death by Ty and Pepper who decided they had enough of her barking incessantly? Or secretly killed by Magic? I don't know how to break the news to The Girls, but I having to tell them that Pooka is missing is waaaay better than having to tell them that she's dead.

When Horse Girl comes back from school, that's what I do.

"We haven't seen Pooka all day."
"Ooooooh, didn't Mom tell you guys? Jeez. Mom took her to Lee's because all that barking got to be too annoying. Lee's got an old dog, too, and it's like Old Folks Home there, with the two dogs yapping all day long."

Mom seems to be on a We're Going To Straighten Things Up Here Campaign. Today she tells us that in two weeks Magic is scheduled to get "fixed." Guess there will be lots of Ch-ch-ch-changes in Dogtown while we are away!

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