My Navigator (Chief of Mac Operations) asked me to post something about the rest of our crew. Angus and Rufus are our four-legged crew members that occupy the majority of the house. Angus and Rufus are brothers and about as far apart in personalities as any two dogs could be. They are Chinese Shar Pei dogs and our third attempt at trying to convince ourselves that one of the most independently spirited breeds in the world can somehow be domesticated. (I can almost hear Rufus asking me “Yeah, how’s that working for you Mac?”)
Rufus looks much more like a traditional Shar Pei retaining a lot of the characteristic wrinkles. He has two main loves. First, he wants to be the boss of Angus. Second, he wants to sleep in the big bed smack dab in the middle of Mom and Dad.
Angus is more of a free spirit kind of guy. He is into adventure, almost never wants to lay down and has two loves in life: Walking anywhere and keeping the back yard free from strangers of any kind.
Springtime and early summer are always adventures at our house. We put up a solid white plastic fence in the back yard because one thing we have come to understand after three generations of Shar Peis is that they are runners. It doesn’t matter that they have perfectly good homes, lots of food and treats and the free world’s supply of toys. They feel compelled to run away from home.
So Angus and Rufus have the whole back yard to themselves. Almost. There is the usual collection of wild birds, mole like creatures and even an occasional bunny. The bunny lives under my Urban Barn and lives to taunt Angus. The neighbors have a black cat that comes right up to the fence and makes enough noise to attract attention.
The neighbors above us have a porch and a cute little doggie (female) who loves to drive Rufus crazy… we think he is in love. Two doors down are some Rottweilers and a French Bulldog. I believe Rufus has also tried to let them know he is the boss of the world.
But what makes this time of year really exciting is the arrival of other critters from the woods out back. They come at night-time and for some reason are immune to the smell of two Shar Peis in the cozy atmosphere our white fence creates. So they sneak under the very narrow opening and take a tour of the yard. Right about that time, Angus and Rufus indicate that they are ready to go out for their last bathroom break before going to sleep. So the other night I turned on the outside spotlight and they flew through their doggie door (it’s always a race to see who gets out first). Angus won which made him in the perfect position to identify that the neighbors cat had entered the yard.
“Aha, revenge!” he must have been thinking as he chased the kitty around the inside of the yard. Rufus, not wanting to be left out, kicked into flank speed and joined in the game. Oh what excitement! Oh what fun! Oh, what’s that smell? And when did the little black kitty next door grow that long white stripe down its … yipe, yipe yipe
The mad rush to get to the doggie door was on. Rufus arrived first bringing the wonderful scent into the closed in porch. Angus (who we think is a little slower in more than one way) was still shaking his head as the foam came frothing out of his mouth. As he crashed through the door, I was waiting with his leash and he immediately went out into the garage where he spent the night. Rufus, who probably got in the spray column a little bit closer, got the first of a number of baby shampoo and peroxide baths.
Did I mention that Mrs. Mac is not in town this week?
Well, today is a lot calmer and the crew are resting quietly. I have my old super sport spotting light charging up in the covered porch and you can be assured that I will be shining it in all of the corners from tonight on. Funny thing though, as I was sitting alone on the porch that night after putting the boys to their temporary beds, I could swear I could hear a rabbit laughing…