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Falling From Grace

Hey. Hi. How are ya?

It's been a while. A lot has changed. A lot has stayed the same.

I'm currently sipping my morning coffee, sitting cross-legged on the couch deciding where to start. Do I tell you about how six months ago I lost my tenuous grip on the (rather flimsy) "I am fine" facade I had cultivated and cracked, in spectacular fashion, at work? Do I mention that I nearly lost an eye in an ill conceived mission to liberate eggs from under two broody hens? Do we discuss how I was savagely chased down by hunting dogs who mistook our husky, Indi, for a coyote?

Scott says that I am exaggerating at least one of those three statements. But was he there for them? No, no he wasn't.

So if I say that three ginormous hunting dogs chased Indi and I down, then that is exactly what happened. Plus or minus a few inconsequential details.

It was an unseasonably warm day for early March and I had the windows open to air out the stale, furnace air that had been circulating through the house all winter. I hadn't slept well, but my fatigue was nothing that three giant cups of coffee couldn't fix. And there is nothing like a few caffeine induced heart palpitations to make you feel alive! And anxious as hell.

Shadow, our resident senior citizen prior to his passing, came to me and shoved his cold wet nose into the back of my knee while I was vacuuming. It caught me completely off guard (he could move like a shadow in the night when he wanted), and the unexpected nudge on top of the caffeine anxiety buckled my knee, and I landed in a half split, half downward dog situation on the kitchen floor. Shadow, bless his heart, trotted closer and looked down at me cocking his eyebrows in a "lady, if you don't get me outside in the next minute I will shit this floor, so help me" motion.

I gathered myself up as quickly as I could, because I knew for a fact that Shadow's threat was not a bluff, and headed outside. It was windy, and sunny and warm. So windy in fact, that once we got to the driveway I immediately regretted my wardrobe choice of a flowly dress. But I am nothing if not adaptable (queue Scott's eye roll) and held my dress down by pressing the dogs' leashes to my hips and continued on my way.

About halfway down our long driveway, three pick up trucks pulled off the road infront of the field beside our house. Three men, who each could have been cast in Yellowstone on looks alone, hopped out of the pickups and began yelling down the field to the tree line 500m away.

I turned to see what they were yelling at, but my view was obscured by trees. All I could make out were three dark blobs moving through the field that, at the sound of the yelling, abruptly changed direction and began running towards the men at the road.

I thought it might be best to head back to the house until the situation was resolved and attempted to turn the dogs around. But that wasn't in their game plan. Shadow had spotted the pickups and planted himself in the middle of the driveway watching them, refusing to move. He was invested in the outcome like he was watching a soap opera unfold and, when I tugged on his leash in a last desperate attempt to get him to move, he laid down.

Indi on the other hand did not want to watch the action, but be a part of it. Thinking it was her moment to shine. Her hackles had shot up and she was vibrating with anticipation, pulling, trying to take off toward the yelling men. When I told her no and attempted to get her back to my side, she made one last desperate attempt to join in and barked. LOUDLY. I looked over my shoulder towards the blobs barreling down the field, and at the sound of Indi's bark one broke off from the pack and began heading straight for us.

"Oh crap!" Escaped my mouth before I even registered the thought and I watched as the dark blob turn into a large, muscular black dog as it got closer by the second. The yelling from the road intensified and one man ran back to his pick up. He squealed the tires as he took off and made the corner into our driveway on two wheels.

I raised my hands from my side and moved to put myself between my pups and the large dog heading towards us. However, my plans were immediately foiled by the wind that blew the skirt of my dress up and over my hips into my face, blinding me. At the same time Indi decided she no longer wanted to be apart of the fun and tried to take off in the opposite direction, wrapping her leash around my calves. Effectively hogtying me in place.

I wrestled with the dress, grabbing at the fabric and fighting against the wind to pull it back down over my hips to hide the laundry day granny panties I was currently scarring the hunters with that were coming to my aid.

By the time I managed to get the dress down, the large black dog was seated at my feet looking up at me. Not nearly as vicious as he had looked running towards at full speed a few seconds earlier. His tail whipping the gravel from the driveway onto the lawn as it wagged back and forth waiting for pats. Indi, I noticed, was busy sniffing every inch of her new friend. And ole Shadow was layed flat out on the driveway doing a happy dance, and scratching to his back with his feet in the air.

And then, I heard a cough. A clearing of the throat if you will. And a whole different type of fear took hold. I looked up to see a man standing in my driveway, red cheeked and looking at me, lost for words. I stood there and looked back at him. Also completely lost for words.

As it turns out, the men in the pick ups are hunters that run coyotes. Three of their dogs were on the trail and did not come when they were called in the night before, opting to spend the night in the woods. The GPS collars the pups wear told the hunters where to look for them and they were there to collect the dogs. Timing, as with everything in life, is everything. I just happened to be taking Indi and Shadow for a walk at the same time the hunters arrived to call their dogs back. Two minutes later and I never would have shown a man I had never met my ugliest pair of underwear while being hogtied by Indi in my driveway.

C'est la vie, I suppose.


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