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Another Night in Animal Kingdom
by darlene hight
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Another Night in Animal Kingdom
By Darlene Hight

My husband, Mark and I are what the construction world calls ‘gypsies’ in some countries, we are known as ‘tinkers’. By whatever name, we are travelers. When one job is complete, we move to the next job. When Mark first took this job, we had one house, one old beagle, ‘Casey’ and a cat, ‘Woody’. We made the decision that our daughter and our granddaughters would live in our house ‘rent free’ for a few years while my daughter completes her nursing degree. This decision solved the immediate problem –what to do with the house. The pets came with us.

After about a year, we came to the heart wrenching conclusion that Casey could not travel anymore. She was our travel buddy but it was just getting too hard on her. Mark’s career has always kept us on the move and a young Casey took this in stride. Matter of fact, she loved it. She would climb into the vehicle, settle into her favorite spot and sleep the entire trip. Even as an old dog, she loved to go but her old bones just couldn’t take it. We had Casey put to down in April of 2007 and by July of 2007, we had added ‘Ivan’ a little black and tan beagle pup to our family. Ivan is ‘Mr. Personality’. He loves people! He demonstrated this to us at every turn, when he headed off to visit each person that he encountered. A five minute trip to Kmart could take us over an hour with Ivan. Ivan is short and stout and as fast as a rocket. His favorite game is ‘keep away’. We began to consider getting a playmate for Ivan, mainly because we are (in comparison to Ivan) old and slow.

We found Evie in an animal shelter in Greenville, Ohio. She was just a little bit taller than Ivan with a sweet disposition. He, of course, fell in love with her and so did we. We thought that we had a pair of beagles. When Evie grew to 26 inches tall and became one tall, lean muscle, we began to question that conclusion. After much research and our Vet’s best guess, we have decided that Evie is an American foxhound. She is a beautiful black and tan with doe eyes. The puppies are close to one year old, now. We suspect that Ivan is a couple of months older than Evie. Ivan is thirteen inches of pure beagle and Evie is a tall beauty who has finally grown into her legs.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I am an animal lover. We have always had pets. So while it isn’t easy to travel and be pet owners, they are a part of our life and we choose to work around the inconveniences.

Currently, we are working around the inconveniences. My husband has been staying with my brother close to the current jobsite and I am staying in our house with my daughter. This is a short job assignment so it is a simple solution to housing.

I am certain that you have heard the saying that the apple doesn’t fall from the tree. That is certainly the case with my daughter and my granddaughters. In my daughter’s home lives two dogs, one cat, two bunnies and one hamster. The advantage is that her home is pet friendly. The disadvantage is that when I am staying here it is Animal Kingdom.

Let me tell you a story, a true story that happened last night. Each night at around eleven o’clock, I head down to my room in the basement. I take the puppies with me. All of the animals get along well except for the cats. The problem with the cats is that each of them considers this house to be their private territory. We generally combat this by keeping them separated. My granddaughter generally takes her cat into her room at night but last night she forgot. At two a.m. I woke up to a cat fight. I plodded upstairs, tossed my daughter’s cat out the back door and my cat out the front door. All of the dogs went outside for another nightly constitution. One of my daughter’s dogs is very motherly. She mothers the puppies and she mothers the cats. So when I called the dogs back inside she didn’t want to come in because she was mothering the cat. Ivan, also, refused to come in. He is a spitfire and I refused to stay up at 2 a.m. to chase him so after considerable coaxing, I gave up and went to bed. Let both of them stay out and see how they like it.

I took Evie and went back to bed. Less than a half hour passed and I was once again awakened by a ruckus in the backyard. Ivan was baying to beat the band. We have a nightly visitor a ‘possum so I knew before I got up the steps that the ‘possum had arrived. The ‘possum is bigger than Ivan and would most certainly kill any of the dogs if they were to corner it. This time, I had to get Ivan into the house. So I called, I yelled and I tried to trap Ivan for quite some time. Beagles when they are tracking cannot be deterred from their mission. Ivan had that focus coupled with a naughty puppy mindset and he is a lightning bolt. At 3a.m standing in my back yard in my nightgown,and chasing a wild puppy that I love, my blood began to boil. I became a wild woman. I spotted the water hose and the thought entered my mind, he can keep away from me but I bet he can’t keep away from me with a water hose! I drenched that puppy. When he weaved to the right, I weaved to the right. When he swerved left, I swerved left. Once I had him thoroughly dowsed. I shut off the water and began winding the hose onto its holder. Ivan, dripping wet, approached me in a timid surrender. I was still furious and he knew it but he banked on my love. Oh I scolded him and let him know that he had pushed the limit but I, also, dried the little rat off and carried him down to bed. He slept close to Evie until my blood pressure went down to normal but then as always he curled up close to my side and we slept. It may be a little while before I live down my new name, “Wild Woman with a water hose” but it really is just another night in Animal Kingdom.

Psalm 103:13-14 As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. NIV

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Member Comments
Member Date
Deborah Anderson 08 May 2008
I, too, love animals, Darlene. And you know I love those puppies of yours. :-) I could see you out with the hose in the middle of the night...LOL.
Clarence (Sonny) White 07 May 2008
Very funny. I can picture it. Dogs are very smart and very loyal. They seem to know what you are thinking and understand even tho they may not agree with it. However, when they are young they are sometimes mischievious like children.
LauraLee Shaw 07 May 2008
This scene gave me my laugh for the day. Too funny!
Dee Yoder  06 May 2008
What a lively household! I can imagine how frustrating it must be to be chasing a puppy around in the middle of the night. Very funny!


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