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Publisher’s Message: Staff Members Buzz and Aidan Having Fun Together Again

File photo. Buzz in the Back 40, sitting on a “chair” made out of the former willow tree I had cut down last year. I asked them to leave the bottom of the trunk, too, because it was so pretty and it now serves as a natural outdoor table.

I’m pleased to report that the new normal with staff members Buzz and Aidan has commenced.

So many readers have inquired, I thought I should give everyone an update after the bad news of my last column.   

With Buzz’s stitches out, the doggy games have resumed. The two of them can once again race up and down the stairs and around the dog yard together. They periodically harass each other and have become a pretty formidable team – demanding to do “stuff” again.

And although these “demands” frequently interrupt my efforts to bring you the daily news, with all that we’ve been through since February, each doggy adventure makes me smile. And each will be cherished.

So, there may be a few less stories on some days. Some stories might not get written and published right away. And, I might not immediately respond to emails. That’s my new normal because I’m not going to miss a single special moment with these two staffers.   

Buzz is back “on guard” against critter adversaries – squirrels, possum, rabbits and deer. They all pose a “threat” and Buzz has now taught Aidan how best to deal with these varmints in Toller-style. Scream, bark, and race around like an army of two until I take command and usher the present danger out of sight.  

Aidan has become a snuggle puppy. He’s curled up in my lap.

While once Aidan would run away from Buzz when he’d bark at the deer or rabbits or other critters in the back 40, now he’s started to “confront them” too. Still staying behind Buzz, and while safely contained in the dog yard fence or inside the house, Aidan’s learning how to participate in these over-the-top antics.

Some things don’t change, though. Rabbits deciding that grazing inside the dog yard while it’s still dark out early in the morning is a safe thing to do.

I have quite a bright spotlight to illuminate the whole dog yard, but there’s one area in the back that remains in the shadows. And, since I’ve had multiple encounters with four-legged wildlife in the past, I flip on the light, visually check the area though the door window and wait to give any varmints a chance to escape before I open the door and let the dogs out.

This week, two rabbits got quite a comeuppance and I hope they learned a lesson. I didn’t see them in the dog yard, but Buzz sure did. I opened the door and he took off like he’d been shot out of a cannon with Aidan right on his tail, thinking this was a great fun way to start the morning.  

Game on. 

When this happens, everything takes place so fast, there’s really nothing I can do but stand there. There is no way I can call Buzz off two rabbits zooming across the dog yard heading for the opening from which they entered.

Buzz loves me, but not as much as the chase.  

In most cases, the rabbit loses. But, with two of them, and two dogs, I wasn’t sure what might happen. Did I mention this was about 6 a.m. and I hadn’t even had a sip of coffee yet?

With a head start, one rabbit made it out the opening between the gate and the side panel on the first try; the second one wasn’t as fortunate. It took off in the other direction with both dogs hot on its little white tail, zig-zagging and changing direction really quickly, both dogs running full out trying to pounce on it.

On the second loop, the rabbit made an escape – barely – leaving some fur in the opening in its wake.  

Rabbits 2, Buzz and Aidan 0.

A sad ending for the dogs, but a happy ending for the rabbits and me.

Both dogs got some really good early morning exercise, and I didn’t have to remove a dead carcass or carcasses from the dog yard for the umpteenth time in the 24-plus years that I’ve lived here.

You may remember, Ryan was quite the rabbit hunter as was Yankee and Widgeon before him.

Buzz has kept the tradition alive and Aidan, the little stink pot, is fast learning the ropes.

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