Friday, January 14, 2011

A Small Herd of Deer

It has been raining for days. When I took the dogs out this afternoon Chewy the chihuahua immediately ran to the front where he could keep his paws dry by standing beneath the overhang of the roof. The chocolate labs quietly made their way down the driveway, sniffing here and there, glancing over at the front lawn then back at me, looking rather sheepish.

I sensed that there was an animal in front, most likely a rabbit, and that they wanted to bark and chase, but knew this would make me unhappy. They reached the end of the driveway and stood very still, staring, waiting.

When I reached the end of the driveway, I suddenly understood. On the side of the house, near my bedroom window, a small herd of deer was standing in the rain and lying down on the grass. I could see a small, brown fawn lying near its mother and a taller female standing just a few feet from my labs. They were all holding very still, but they weren't watching the labs. In fact, they seemed to sense that Buddy and Holly did not intend to harm them. They weren't watching me, either. They were watching Chewy...and this was probably very wise!

I quickly took a picture then called to Buddy and Holly who immediately turned and followed me to the back door. I was hoping to attract Chewy, who loves to chase the larger dogs and generally does not allow them to beat him to the door, or anywhere else. Unfortunately, just as he turned to watch the labs race up the driveway, he caught sight of the deer and raced down the stairs--suddenly quite willing to dampen his paws--chasing the deer back into the forest.

I was heartbroken. We have lived in this house for four years now and often see droppings or signs that the deer have slept in front of our house, but rarely see the deer themselves. Ever since I have returned from Colorado, though, the deer have appeared in front of the house nearly every day. I feel as if they are trying to connect with us somehow, and the dogs are getting in the way! I think I will start searching for them in the morning through the windows before I walk out with the dogs!

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