View from the forest floor

The Floof

Let me tell you about Thursday morning.

I moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky; but that didn't happen Thursday. That happened about two weeks before Thursday. I bring it up because you need to understand I'm in a new house, in a new neighbourhood, on the edge of a Kentucky tanglewood forest. It is, in a word, gorgeous. There are a couple of downsides, though.

I don't have a fence around anything, certainly not the forest. Fencing off this forest would be a sin against the cosmos and a crime against nature. However, I'm sitting in a house that rests upon three acres of beauty and I have two dogs. The dogs require a fence that we don't yet have because one will wander off of her own accord and the other would run to Franklin before I could catch him. Our girl is a Labrador-Whippet mix and the boy is a pit bull something or other. He's a mixed breed for sure, we're just not sure what that mix is. My theory is that he's part pit and part 1976 Ford Elite.

When the dogs go out for their trip to the loo, I have to put them on leashes. There will be a fence soon enough, but not yet. The leashes have worked and the process has remained sound ever since the move. They pull on the leashes a bit, but not badly. They do their thing, we go back in. It's fine.

Or it was. Until Thursday. That day, they saw a squirrel.

I had to hold back a lab and a pit who are desperately trying to make a playmate/snack out of this squirrel. The lab is strong, but the pit… you can literally see the muscles ripple around his body. Thankfully the squirrel did a squirrelly thing and quickly relocated himself to a tree at the edge of the yard. There are several, so s/he had plenty of choices. The dogs wandered around the base of the tree for a few minutes, and eventually they calmed down. They finished some further business, and things were okay.

Turning around, I looked up towards the side of the house, where there's a door to the living room. Sitting at those doors is the friendliest, floofiest, happy-go-lucky, big-ass stray dog. He's grinning like Jim Varney and appears to be waiting for someone to let him inside.

Oh… fuck.

I saw him long before my dogs did. He's bigger than the Labrador mix, parts of his fur are matted, he's unkempt, looking like the happy hobo that he is. I start to wrap the leashes around my left hand because I know what's coming. I'm sure this dog is probably fine, but I don't know. He doesn't appear rabid and I swear he was smiling. But I don't think it's the best idea that they all of them play together right now.

My dogs finally saw him and strongly disagreed with my assessment. They expressed their disagreement by yanking on the leashes in an attempt to greet this new friend. The squirrel was a long forgotten memory, something that may have happened years ago. Their motivation to introduce themselves to The Floof shoved all reasoning aside while it cut off every bit of circulation in my left hand.

They sniffed, snorted, and sneezed. There was hopping about and a rank smell filled the air as it was obvious this poor thing hadn't had a bath since the Obama Administration. There was no danger, they were happy to see each other, like running into your best friend from high school and discovering he's living the life and traveling the country because he's hitching illegal rides on freight trains.

The Floof - a large stray dog
The Floof abides.

It took a good five minutes to finally get my dogs inside, in a manner that they weren't joined by our new friend because he wanted in too. By this point, my shoulder has been nearly jerked from its socket and my back is sending pain signals down to my legs because my neck needs backup for all the pain it's relaying to my brain.

The Floof hung around part of the day and moved along. We gave him some food and water. He drank, but not like he was thirsty. He didn't even sniff the food. Looking at him, he didn't look hungry either. At the very least, he's doing okay feeding off the forest, or the local trash bins. I gave him some scritches behind the ears, checked the collar beneath the mass of fur around his neck, and couldn't coax him near after that.

He was wandering the neighbourhood this morning. Maybe he'll hang out for a bit, but I hope he has a home.