One thing I discovered once I moved into the woods is Nature doesn’t give a damn about anyone. I vowed to live in peace with the natural world and a couple of years after I was here a massive tree fell on my house. I vowed not to kill venomous snakes and that worked out fine until Lucas got zapped. Greyson Charlotte has been tagged once and Tyger Linn has been bitten three times this year alone. Tyger Linn goes looking for trouble out in the back acre and she’s found it on more than a few occasions. I suspect when she got outside the fenced in world she got a very good look at who is looking in from the outside, and why the fence is there.
If you follow American football at all, you know who Cam Newton is, or who he was, but last year he was being described as the best athlete to ever play the game and like to break records and rewrite the book on how the game is played. Unfortunately, Newton began to believe the hype and in the Super Bowl, he was hit hard, early, and often, by a defense who suspected that Newton’s team was a one-man show. Newton crumbled under the pressure and this year his team is in dead last place and the show is pretty much over.
Tyger Linn set up her own fiefdom in the back acre terrorizing snakes, squirrels and other small mammals, but once she slipped into the natural world outside the fence I think she discovered, much like I did, that Nature doesn’t give a damn about anyone.
I have no idea where Tyger Linn and Lilith Anne went when they got out, but I do know they spent the entire time in the wild. That’s three nights in Coyote Country and there had to be some sort of inter action between the two domesticated canines and their wild relatives. I’m also pretty sure they have already met, through scent, vocalizations, and maybe even by sight, but there was always that fence. Now, out in the open and without anyone else around, they meet in the wild. Tyger came home with a lot of scratches but no bite marks so I’m pretty sure she and the Coyotes didn’t tangle. Yet there had to be some sort of “Oh Hai” moment where both Tyger and Lilith realized they were not in Kansas anymore.
I am lucky to have them back and I know it.
The real issue out there is we’re in a drought right now and water is hard to find. All the seasonal streams and ponds have gone dry. How those two found any water to drink at all is beyond me and it’s likely they didn’t find very much at all if any. A dog can die in three days without water. I left a bucket of water outside for them if they came back while I was gone and when I did get home and found them both here, I’m pretty sure that bucket of water was something they camped out with until my return.
Now they are both home and both safe again. Lilith shows no signs of trauma, other than the scars from the myriad of ticks I pulled off of her. After I gave them all medication to kill ticks I found dead ticks everywhere in the house. But Tyger Linn took some damage out there. The physical part of it, the rash, the scratches, the dehydration and hunger, all of that has disappeared in the last two weeks. But Tyger Linn, resident huntress of Hickory Head, has had her bell rung; she is not the same dog that left here.
Before the Great Adventure, Tyger would run at top speed through the woods in the back acre in front of me, darting in and out and around the trees, Lady of the Land, scaring the tree rats and seeking out new prey. Now she runs out in front of me, but never out of sight or very far. She stays closer to Lilith now and Tyger Linn, always the last one out of the woods, is now the first one back to the door. Once Tyger raced the Cousins to the door to get out and now she waits for Lilith to get up and move. Whatever happened out there, Tyger Linn has decided that Lilith is the One True Goddess and it shows.
Yesterday I was petting Tyger and Lilith came up and simply pushed her out of the way. Tyger retreated and just sat there looking hurt instead of pushing back. That’s never happened. Tyger has never backed down from any dog at any size at any time, and that’s been a real issue. Tyger isn’t overly aggressive but she has always been assertive. I’ve never seen her get pushed without pushing back, hard.
When the two came home both seemed very sore, likely from sleeping on the hard ground for so long, and they both seemed stunned and traumatized. Lilith has come back from that but Tyger Linn still seems a little freaked out. Tyger would sleep on the bed with me but she never had to have full body contact and now she does. She gets up in the night to reposition herself closer to me if I have moved. She nudges my face with her head more often than she did before, as if she needs me to reassure her that everything is okay.
Like the football player who discovers he isn’t all that, Tyger Linn has discovered nature doesn’t give a damn if Tyger rules the world on the inside of the fence. Outside the fence, Nature runs wild and savage and once again, I’m lucky to have them both back at home with me. But Tyger Linn’s attitude is still out there in the woods somewhere. Her poise is gone now, and she realizes that the fence is there not just to keep her in, but to keep a lot of things out.