Early this morning Sadie (my sweet dog), went nuts in the house, barking, running and panting, trying to get me to understand that something huge was happening outside. This is unusual for her, as she is a lady of leisure and loves sleeping, especially on her back with all four paws in the air. Mornings are when she rolls over with a heavy sigh, like ‘oh dear, I suppose I must get up and pee.’ I thought she might have seen a rabbit or squirrel from the bedroom window. I live in a suburban neighborhood, it’s nice enough, but we don’t have sprawling acres to attend to or a national park that backs up to our property line. Given this, it would seem that we live in peaceful harmony with nature and the animal kingdom – they have their trees and woods, we have ours houses and garages.
We went outside for our usual morning stroll. After a slow, slumbering walk, Sadie had settled and we headed home. For some reason, after our walks, getting to the driveway always makes me feel as if I need to do something, like I’ve completed a milestone of some sort. I either move the trash can, pick up the paper, look around the neighborhood and give a wave or move a few twigs off the mulch. So today I unleash Sadie, stand in the driveway, and ponder why my pansies aren’t blooming continuously as the description promised they would. Out of the corner of my eye, I see a few deer moving slowly through our back yard (note – this is not a usual occurrence, I just pretend that it is) and I decidedly remark to myself, ‘wow, they are so big, look at how they really do blend into the landscape, that’s really pretty neat.’ And then the next thought flies in, ‘holy shxx, there are huge big-ass deer with those real antler things on them in my backyard (!), where is Sadie?’ Well numnuts had gone to the other side of the house sniffing a track (undoubtedly, where the deer had started) and I sprint like a crazy woman to the back yard calling for her. My good girl comes running towards me like ‘ok, Mom, what’s up? Whatcha got?’ I turn and oh-not-so-far-away-and-I’m-not-kidding-he’s-close is the biggest dam deer (and the bigger of the two gentlemen deer standing near us) with horns as wide and big as Rudolph’s, staring us down and – get this- stomping his hoof like you see the bulls doing when they see that big red cape swirling at them.
Sadie proceeds to engage in the stare down as Mr. Deer continues to stomp his hoof. I am totally lost in this situation, with everything running through my mind from ‘do deer get rabies?’ to ‘do they come after people and small dogs, not sure I have ever heard of that happening but I don’t really know!?’ to ‘what the hell? I thought they were supposed to be afraid of people’. It would have been a fabulous ‘the dumbest move people make with their animals funniest home video’ as I am quietly screaming in a low voice, ‘Sadie, get over here now!’ while she wags her tail and continues the stare down with Mr. Deer. He is all over this hoof action, stomping away with the same hoof and clearly has no plans to do anything to back down or move away. He then moves a foot forward and slowly Sadie turns her little head and looks at me as if to say ‘OMG, I think he is walking to me now’ and sprints towards me so fast that the wind picks her ears up and she is flying with those little legs moving and this little 30lb dog almost knocks me over. I too begin sprinting and realize we are both running from a dam deer who is elegantly and yet assuredly standing in my backyard.
He could be still back there for all I know. We both slid into the house as we were tripping on each other, me to get her and her to get to inside. And so here we are, safe and sound. I sit at my computer, open a new browser and find holiday ads already in gear, with my friend, Mr. Deer, prominently displayed to provide good cheer. Too dam funny.