First, the teaser: here’s a little section of the painting I started today. Yep, it’s my first painting of Moustachio. Check back tomorrow to see what he’s up to in the picture. (Hint: if you’ve been following my blog for just a bit you’ve already seen my reference photo a few posts back ... hmm, what could it be?)
And now, the reason I didn’t get more done on this painting this afternoon: Buster, Wonder Dog of Danger, had quite an adventure today when he, along with Roadie and Sophie, escaped from the back yard.
Roadie came running back into the house after just a few minutes, and I got Sophie back in by driving the car around to the side of the house where she was hot on the trail of some critter and opening the car door for her. She just can’t resist a car ride, so she hopped right in. As a reward I drove her out to the mailbox and back with the window down so she could stick her head out and feel the wind in her ears.
After walking Sophie back into the house on a leash, I went out back to our detached garage (which is very old and tumble-down and more like a little bitty barn than a garage) where I could hear Buster barking an “S.O.S.” sounding bark, like he was stuck somewhere. I walked in, ignoring the big ol’ carpenter bee sentries buzzing around the front opening -- they’re really big and intimidating-looking, but no stingers, and curious more than aggressive, so no reason for alarm. We actually like them because they pollinate the flowers and crops around here.
Anyway, back to our story. I walked into the dim garage, and Buster had stopped barking, and I couldn’t see him anywhere. I could hear him panting but I couldn’t really tell where it was coming from. I was saying, “Buster? Buddy, where are you?” Then I turned around and there he was, up in the rafters above the doorway, on a ledge about 12 inches wide that runs all the way around the top of the walls. I was, like, WHAT??, how in the world did you get up there??!
There’s an old Coke machine right there almost right below where he was sitting, afraid to move. The top of the Coke machine is about 2 feet or so below the ledge, and about a foot or so inside the garage opening. So I wondered if maybe he jumped to the top of the vending machine and then to the ledge while chasing some animal or something, and then realized where he was and got scared to move or jump down. Or maybe he climbed up on a pile of old windows that we have leaning in the back corner and got up on the ledge over there and chased whatever he was chasing around the ledge to the front and then got scared to move. I don’t know.
I went and got our step ladder from the house and climbed up to right beside Buster, I tried to pick him up, but he started to panic so I let go because he weighs a little over 50 pounds and I was afraid I would drop him, or make him fall, or he would make me fall. So then I tried to coax him to hop down to the top of the Coke machine. But no. This is a dog who jumps up almost to my head height when I’m carrying out their food for breakfast or dinner, and who is forever jumping up on and down from a table I have out on the back porch. But he just wouldn’t jump the 24 inches or so down to the Coke machine. So, hmmm, what to do?
While I was standing there on the ladder, carpenter bees buzzing around, and trying to think of what to do next, I spotted the reason Buster was probably in the fix in the first place. There on the ledge, back in the darkness a few feet away on the other side of him, was Moustachio, just crouching on the ledge. Waiting for me to get Buster out of the way so he could jump down to the Coke machine and then to the ground. At least that part of the mystery was solved. That old, old story. Dog chases cat, cat goes where a dog shouldn’t be able to go, dog follows in the heat of the chase, dog realizes where he is, gets scared and freezes on the spot, stuck.
FINALLY, after further brainstorming, I built a kind of stairway for Buster: A chair on top of the Coke machine, just inches from the ledge, and a table beside the Coke machine so he could jump down there and then to the ground. As it turns out, in coming from the ledge down to the chair Buster panicked again and misstepped off the top of the Coke machine to the ground, bypassing the table altogether. But good news, he landed on his feet, followed me right into the house for his supper, and seems to be just fine now.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, Moustachio came out okay, too. A little while later I noticed he was in his favorite chair on the front porch waiting for his supper.