It’s 5am and Otis is licking my face. Ughhhh. He needs to go outside and take a leak. Joy.
Being the responsible dad I get outta bed, slide into my sneakers, thrown on my raincoat, fasten his leash onto his collar and head outside.
It’s predawn (5am) cold (40 degrees) raw (raining) and I am standing with my dog and I am wearing a t-shirt, soccer shorts, sneakers and raincoat on my front lawn. I am not cold, I feel, well, alive.
Otis and I are both answering natures call when I am jolted out of my “nature’s call” meditation by the cries of coyotes not 50 feet from where we are standing….or should I say leaking.
Jolted may not be accurate. Accurate would be – “when I have the crap scared out of me and I piss all over my leg because I am confident that I am about to get attacked by some fiendish unseen ghoul.”
The sound the coyotes make can best be described as a most heinous combination of laughter and death scream. It’s a sound that I associate with vintage Stephen King. At least it’s the sound I would create in my head when reading vintage Stephen King. Vintage as opposed to formulaic.
To my utter amazement, my friend Otis (the dog with the genetic pedigree to be the protector of the flock) instead of responding to the coyote screams with barking and protection, runs and hides behind me.
I stand there not moving, searching the woods that frame my lawn with my eyes for any movement.
I hold my breath in hopes of hearing the rustling of new fallen leaves indicating the ghouls are moving.
Nothing. Not a damn thing.
Then, without warning a second flurry of coyote screams and laughter. No response from Otis.
Ok, now I am pissed (no pun intended). I scream at the coyotes and then I hear the rustling. They are moving away – I think they are laughing as they dance off deeper into the woods. Laughing I am sure that they made me piss all over my leg.
I turn around to find Otis totally oblivious to any of the drama that had just occurred. Nope, he is sitting there more interested in the leaf stuck to his nose than any death match standoff we just had with the coyotes.
I slog back into the house, wash off my leg and lay back in bed, soon joined by a 90 pound sheepdog who lays next to me and puts his wet leaf encrusted head on my chest. Instantly he falls asleep and starts snoring. I have no such luck. The adrenaline from our encounter with the evil coyotes is preventing me from finding sleep. Otis on the other hand is probably dreaming of bunnies and wet leaves.