This happened two nights ago…
It was only eight o’clock at night. I needed to bring Uriah inside. He was still outside in his kennel.
A couple hours earlier I tried to coax Uriah in the house. But he wanted to sit outside. With the sun setting, coyotes would be coming closer to the house, so I locked him inside his kennel.
It was time to bring him inside. I flicked on the outside light and without waiting for the light to come on I stepped out the garage door. I was met by a wall of darkness. I looked down at my hands and could barely see them. A heavy fog had settled in close to the ground, which caused a curtain of blackness to fall over everything. Silence assaulted my senses. For a second I contemplated going back into he house until the lights came on. I shook off the uneasy feeling and clutched my ski pole.
I walked forward, then turned to the right and headed around the back of the house towards the dog kennel. I hesitated again! The silence was over powering! I called to Uriah. He didn’t answer. I looked up at the light; it was taking its time turning on. Maybe the dampness or the cold air was the reason. Or maybe I was being paranoid! It takes time for that light to heat up. I couldn’t hear anything moving around out there in the dark. But something felt wrong.
I laughed off a trickle of fear and called to Uriah. He didn’t make a sound. Something else did in that heavy darkness! An odd, growl and movement, then the sound of a branch breaking came from the direction of the apple trees.
I stopped and peered into the foggy blackness. Silence! A deep heavy silence!
I told myself, if there was something out there I should be able to hear it again and there wasn’t a sound anywhere around me.
“Hey Uriah! I really think I should have waited for the light to come on.” He didn’t answer me. I knew he was alright, I was talking to him through the window earlier; as it got colder I closed the window and watched him as he stared out into the yard.
I shuffled to the kennel door, opened it. Uriah stood there watching me but didn’t make a move to leave.
I stood at the open door and waved at him to leave. “Come on! You have to come inside!”
Uriah turned away from me and stared out into the yard towards the apple trees. He was pacing in place.
I turned and looked out over the wall of blackness. A chill ran up my spine and I fought the urge to step into the kennel with Uriah and close the door. Not a smart move! I would be locked outside, not inside the house.
Then I just made a bad mistake! I allowed fear to creep around me…
Animals can smell fear. Uriah came up to me and leaned against my leg. Great! He was nervous too…
“Ok, here’s the plan. We walk out of here. You pee! We get into the house fast! Just pretend we don’t think anyone is watching us.”
Brave Uriah whimpered and looked out towards the apple trees, again..
I muttered. “That’s not helping!”
I coaxed Uriah out of the kennel. He stayed as close to me as he could get -behind me and under my coat. I didn’t like this situation…
Then I got mad…
“Alright! Whoever is out there, get the hell out of my yard!” Uriah perked up immediately and walked in front of me and wagged his tail.
Then I heard a clinking sound, similar to tags on a dog collar. I thought I was imagining that sound. But Uriah’s head turned to the sound as fast as I had. It came from the apple trees…
I yelled out into the darkness and stepped forward. “Uriah are you going to pee now?” Then I turned towards the driveway and started to walk.
Uriah followed. I stopped, he urinated and we slowly waked back to the garage.
I kept thinking. “I am not afraid!” Still, I could feel that tickle of fear creep up again. Fear is one scent I really didn’t want to send that out into the yard. Once an animal catches a whiff of fear, he will attack. I was so glad there wasn’t a wind and we were nearly in the house. And I wasn’t sure what type of animal was out there watching..
Uriah pushed past me and was inside before I had the door fully open.