God forbid I should sleep past 7am......
Should I try...and try to ignore the sounds of breaking glass and pottery....this is the kind of thing I might see when I open my eyes on my day off:
Screw the Dog Whisperer guy....we need that English chick with the boots and the RHD XKE convertible.....and the whip.
So....after a long day of turning compost, barrowing topsoil into our new raised beds, sifting gravel, and all that boring manual labor that is required to have actual agriculture at ones disposal....I came home for an ice cold Speakeasy wheat beer and some microwaved frozen food and some Keith Olbermann.....another Cornell guy.
My doggie drama queens acquiesced........kind of.
It was cold.....59 degrees inside. I was beat from communing with my Irish ethnic heritage of shovels and barrows and rocks and compost.
I turned to Puppy and said: "You wanna go for a little walk?"
Puppy turned from cute lap-puppy into psycho whirling dervish. I put on layers, and off we went.
Even Morgana came. Morgana is Pants' dog......I have custody. Morgana is 16, mostly wolf.....and now that she has met Amanda, becoming used to a lifestyle that includes a personal chef.
In November, Morgana had a stroke. She could not move, or swallow.....We had to drag her around from A to B....in the pouring, freezing rain.
It was a crisis. We thought she was done. We got doggie downers from the vet, and I shoved a couple of dozen Vicodin down her as Pants' dad dug a nice hole in her favorite spot on the mountain.
Brendan got his .22 magnum out of hock.....and we braced ourselves for Morgana's passing.
She rallied. Like a good caterer or Hollywood queen....she shrugged off her burden with the help of Vitamin V......and came back to Earth.
Morgana is royalty.
She was born under a trailer in Palo Colorado and lived there for many years. One of her many claims to fame is the day when she came home with a human hand in her mouth.....
There had been a plane crash in Big Sur....no one could find the wreck. Well, except for Morgana.
Now, she is a million years old....but she is still a warrior. Once upon a time, Pants and his dad Marc would take her for long hikes in the Sierras. Now she cannot cut that.....so she cruises with me and Puppy each morning.
Despite her age and arthritis.....she always manages to be uphill and downwind of us when we hike. She is covering our asses from the pumas, and she takes her job seriously.
It is kind of like counting on John McCain for flying the jets that will stop the Russkies.....but how can you not love the old girl, struggling up the mountain through the brush to maintain her post?
Today.....on our last minute hike, she joined in.
I went up to Brendan's homesite....and Puppy took off up the road towards the Douche Bag Rich Neighbor's property.
These guys never saw a tree they didn't want to cut down....or a wildflower or bush they did not want to have weed-eated. They put in a new gate, and a fancy new drive and came on our property and cut down trees they thought might someday fall onto their cool road.
Ignoring the fact that the roots of the trees they killed were supporting the hill from falling down onto their cool new gate and road.
These people continue to appropriate parts of our lives and property....because they are rich, and their grandparents fucked the first goat in Cachagua....apparently.
Lately we have been doing research, and discovered that we actually have rights to a cool creek, and property along the awesome new road.
Still, we don't trespass the new gate.....we walk down from the woods.
The creek just started flowing. Drops and drips.....and way up high on the mountain....but our creek, and our drips.
Eventually, the creek flows down out of our land and across the new road.....suitably funnelled in a culvert and tossed down the cliff towards Alfred and Kathy and the olive trees.
Morgana saw us up the mountain and tried to go around up the road...the easy way. She saw the culvert and smelled something cool......
And climbed into the culvert......
And got stuck. And howled loud enough that I heard her up top in the canyon.
She went in....and was too big and too old to turn around.....
We coaxed her out to the far end of the culvert......in the middle of the cliff.
Morgana is the Queen.....she was not jumping off out of some culvert into some poison oak infested cliff......
She barked and howled.....Where the fuck is my limo, and my publicist?
Of course, the rich neighbors drove by.....and saw me trespassing to find her in there culvert.
I called Amanda.....Amanda is Morgana's personal chef......Amanda had me bend down to form a platform.....Walter Raleigh eat your heart out......and tried to convince the old girl to crawl out of the culvert onto my back. She got as far as two feet....but, no.
It was like working in Hollywood with Lauren Bacall.
Morgana was stuck in a pipe, on a cliff, in the middle of nowhere with no friend but us....but she had standards. She was not coming out onto a slope of more than 10 degrees.....and she would bite anyone who disagreed.
I hiked back up to the house and got the lid off our hot tub, and hiked it back up the mountain and down into the canyon. Eventually, the old girl came out onto the hot tub lid, with me underneath......and Amanda tackled her.
Howling and biting....slammed into the side of the cliff.
Did I mention that Puppy found an old soccer ball stuck on the cliff in the poison oak...brought it back and barked hysterically at Morgana the entire time?
Now, Morgana is stuck on the cliff with Amanda keeping her from falling into the abyss.
Our lunatic neighbor feeds the deer with dozens of feeding stations. The local pumas think of us like Koi in Beverly Hills....the cool place to dine. Conveniently, each feeding station has a few hundred feet of really good water hose.
I unhooked a couple hundred feet of garden hose and carried it down the cliff....hooked it under Morgana's front legs. She bit the fuck out of me.
Amanda took off her sweatshirt, slipped it over Morgana's head, and strapped it down tight. I cinched down the garden hose around Morgana's front legs....ignoring the snapping and howling.
Amanda was down cliff, I was up. For an hour, we shoved and lifted.....knocking down a world of erosion into the canyon.....while Morgana continued to try to bite our arms off.
Morgana is the 120 pound wolf dog wrapped in the blue sweatshirt. The hand is my 60 year old hand trying to haul her up the cliff while Amanda shoves from below.
Amanda is laughing hysterically, as you can see.
It all worked out.
We were covered with nasty Morgana fur, dirt, poison oak.....and we had knocked a dozen yards of dirt into the canyon....probably undermining the new driveway.
I got back home......and fielded a call from a bride..... wondering why I had not emailed her back with a proposal right away like I had promised......
Hey.....there is the queen...
And there is The Queen.