There is nothing like waking up to the overwhelming stench of skunk and bloodcurdling screeches. At first, I wanted to shake it off as one of my legendary crazy dreams but then I heard the jingling of dog tags and rustles in the bushes. Another yelp. I stepped into flipflops and scrambled in the linen closet for a working flashlight. Using the last of the AAAs, I rushed to the garage. Abandoned beds and blankets. I ran outside and called for them, my voice so loud in the stillness of my neighborhood and 6am predawn dark. Lucky rolling in the grass, a sure sign of a dead animal. I turned the light onto a familiar sight, my dog, my gentle, cuddly girl,Lu, now a hunter, covered in blood, her powerful jaws locked around the carcass. She gave the body vigorous shakes, unmoved by my pleas to come to me. I noticed the gash above her left eye and knew I couldn’t go back to bed. Muttering my favorite line, I grabbed several plastic bags and took the carcass away, careful to not look at the exposed innards. It was too heavy to wrap in the bags without covering myself in blood and viscera so I tossed it in a bucket and carried to the trash. Then I gave my dogs a sponge bath before returning indoors.
Oh what a beautiful morning.