OK. I know. I’ve been away for a while and some of you are upset that I haven’t responded to your questions. I understand, but it hasn’t been entirely my fault. I’ve mentioned in other posts that I get some technical assistance from the Doc, right? The typing and up-loading stuff. Not paw-friendly. The content is mine but without some help from someone with fingers getting it onto the computer just isn’t going to happen. So, when the Doc isn’t available things bog down.
This has happened before. There was the time he was studying for his Board Re-certification, whatever that was, but it seemed like a pretty big deal to him. He was tied up for months ‘studying’. No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t pry him away from his books and outlines and that thing with all the gross pictures. Disgusting, really. Anyway, the whole ordeal pretty much shut me down for a while.
This winter we had other problems. Besides being busier than usual at work, something about all these sick people with bad insurance and nowhere to go but the emergency room, which is where the Doc works, but that’s another story. Besides that, the Doc spent most of the winter being sick himself. For a few weeks it was coughing, then it was sneezing, then it was being grouchy about being sick all the time and blaming it on all those sick people I just told you about. It was pitiful. As a result of all this pathos—that’s a new word I picked up during the course of all his misery—I couldn’t get anything done.
Eventually winter ended. He stopped coughing and snorting and making gross noises. His mood improved, which was a good thing because I was starting to get pretty tired of the complaining and was thinking of having a serious conversation with him about it. Spring had arrived. The rain stopped and I could hang out in the yard. It was time to get back to work.
“Ok, all right, as soon as I catch up on some stuff,” was his response to my suggestion we get busy. Fine. A little while longer isn’t going to make that much difference, I suppose. But then bad things began to happen.
I wasn’t planning to go into this, but the Doc said that unless I tell my readers everything he was going to go on strike. I’m not sure what going on strike means, exactly, but from the tone of his voice I assumed it meant he wasn’t going to provide technical assistance until he got what he wanted. Sounds more like blackmail to me. Whatever. I was stuck.
I thought about it a while. I mean, the things he wanted me to write about are embarrassing.
“C’mon. You’re always solving problems for your readers. Maybe if you tell them about some of your problems they could help you for a change.”
It made sense, so here it is.
By the time we were both ready to get down to business spring had passed and it was summer. Great! The sun is out, the days are long, the birds are singing, (grrrr…), and the Doc is cooking stuff on the grill, the kind of stuff I like and not the weird soups and stews he makes in the winter. Life is pretty good.
Then, out of nowhere, the fireworks happened. It’s not like Christmas, when you can prepare for them. You get, or your neighbor gets, the big tree, you see the decorations, blah, blah, and then one night all hell breaks loose. You know it’s coming, you’re just not sure when. But you can’t say you weren’t warned.
In summer there are no warning signs. The Doc says it’s the 4th of July, happens every year, Independence Day. That’s fine for him but my pals and I are not too good with calendars. Time passes differently for us. We don’t need to know what day it is because the days flow one into the other with a rhythm we understand. I guess people need help in this area. Anyway, one night I’m minding my business as usual and it happens—the full disaster. The folks leave me in the living room, drooling, while they stand out on the deck watching this craziness.
I found out later the Doc got a bunch of mosquito bites while he was out there. Serves him right. Then the next night it happened again! For hours!! Like I said, I’m not good with calendars but I’m pretty sure the 4th of July is only one day. I mean, c’mon!
But that’s not the embarrassing stuff. Everyone already knows I don’t like fireworks and I think it’s safe to say that most non-humans share this attitude. But one day, about a week ago, I was hanging out in the yard when all of a sudden I felt this sharp pain on top of my head. I jumped up and looked around but all I could see were a couple of birds perched on the telephone wires. They were making some kind of racket but there are always birds in the yard so I didn’t think much about it. I had no idea what had happened so I decided to forget about it and curled back up.
About a minute later it happened again. Now I was getting a little freaked out and when I looked up I saw one of the birds swooping down at me. I was under attack by the birds! Every time I tried to find a spot to rest they came at me. I had no idea what their problem was. I have never gone out of my way to bother birds. They have never been particularly important to me. They tweet, or, if they are the big black ones, make other weird noises, and fly around. Who cares? It’s not like they are squirrels or possums who might actually have a reason for not liking me too much.
It soon became obvious that for whatever reason the birds were not going to leave me alone so I went back inside the house. I figured they were having a bad day and left it at that. Besides, it was getting close to dinnertime.
The next morning I went out to do my business and there they were again, perched on the wires. I tried to ignore them but seconds later they resumed their attack. Since then every time I’ve tried to go into the yard they have yelled at me, flown down at me, and tried to peck me. I finally stopped going outside.
Me and mom have this routine. After dinner we go into the yard, play with my favorite ball, and have a cookie. A few days ago I stopped going out when she called. She mentioned it to the Doc. He said something weird must have happened out there. No kidding. Finally, yesterday, both mom and the Doc went out at cookie time. For a second I forgot about the birds and followed them but as soon as I got outside they attacked. This time the folks got to see what I’ve been going through.
“Oh, Jeez! It’s the birds,” the Doc said.
“Yes”, and I’m getting out of here.”
Back in the house the folks tried to explain what the problem was. The birds had made a nest in the bushes by the back fence, they had babies, or eggs, or something in the nest and they were trying to protect them. It would be over eventually.
I’m getting old and ‘eventually’ is too long to wait. And, you know, being older means more trips to the yard to take care of personal business so this is becoming a serious problem. So, if any of you have had similar experiences or have any suggestions for me, please let me know.
Oh, yeah, the Doc said there was a scary movie a long time ago about a bunch of birds ganging up on a whole town for no particular reason. If that was supposed to make me feel better about things it didn’t work.