Hosted a Cavalier play date here yesterday evening, in honor of the birthday of Bisou and her siblings. Besides the Red Baroness, there was Bear, her brother; Luna, her sister; Fling, their mother; and Jethro, a sweet-faced Washington DC dog on a Vermont vacation.
When the company arrived we humans stood for a while marooned in a river of dogs. Cavaliers are low to the ground, and when they swirl in a pack around your ankles, with their long ears flapping and their wavy coats waving and their feathery tails streaming, you kind of feel like you\’re standing in a creek.
In the backyard, Bisou and Bear, who hadn\’t seen each other in months, resumed their habit of slamming into each other, then standing on their hind legs and wrestling with their arms around each other, Bisou growling fiercely all the while, both of them so oblivious to everything that I worried they would fall into the fish pond. We the people sat and talked about dogs and sheep, and the veery sang in the woods.
Suddenly there was a loud commotion in the chicken yard. We counted dogs–where was Jethro? Jethro was missing! Jethro was in the chicken yard! Jethro, who had never seen a chicken before in his life, was chasing the hens with all the ferocity of a country-born chicken-chasing dog.
After Jethro was extracted from the pen, my husband found the tiny hole where he had crawled through the fence, and blocked it with a piece of firewood. To avoid further catastrophes, we put Jethro in a portable pen on the patio and all was peaceful again.
But the dogs were having such a good time playing and Jethro looked so lonely in his pen that one of us, thinking he\’d be fine now that the fence had been repaired, let him out.
Whereupon Jethro, like a heat-seeking missile, made for the chicken fence, found another hole, and was in the midst of the flock before we could yell \”Jethro, stop!\”
Once again we removed Jethro from his paradise of flying feathers and chicken poop and plunked him inside his pen. He sat quietly the rest of the evening, watching us with his sweet face, and composing in his head the stories he would tell his Beltway friends about what he found behind a fence one summer night, in Vermont.