But around here the war is escalating. You might say that Nature is in surge mode. Last night, when my husband let him out to scare any deer that might be feasting on what's left of our plants, Wolfie was attacked by something in the yard. From the description--low to the ground, a bit smaller than Bisou--I think it's a fisher. Speaking of Bisou, it's a good thing she was asleep upstairs with me at the time. Usually she's right on Wolfie's heels, sallying forth into the outer darkness.
Anyway, poor Wolfie yelped, and the critter scurried, and Wolfie came limping into the house. There was no bleeding, no particularly tender spot that we could find, but he could not put weight on one of his hind legs. It's amazing how miserable a solid black dog can look. And there's something about a big dog in distress that makes you feel particularly helpless. You can't pick him up and put him on a comfy pillow. You can't exactly cuddle him.
I gave him a couple of baby aspirins in a teaspoon of peanut butter. He could not climb up to the bedroom, and whimpered so pitifully at the bottom of the steps that I decided to sleep downstairs, to keep him company. But he couldn't settle. He was desperate to lie down but in too much pain to do so. I gave him two more baby aspirins and he finally lay down and went to sleep. Then of course I worried that I had overdosed him, and kept putting my hand on him to feel his breath.
Thanks goodness for Penelope Lively's How It All Began, a witty and wise novel that you all would love. I read for a couple of hours and then turned off the light. But the minute I closed my eyes I remembered that it was supposed to snow heavily today. If Wolfie was still in distress in the morning, how would we get him to the vet? I fell asleep, but Wolfie woke up and put his head on my knee. It occurred to me in my stupor that this meant that he was still alive. Then I did some coughing (which I've been doing for a month now, along with everybody else) and slept for about a minute, and Wolfie put his head on my knee again....
This morning it is in fact snowing hard. Wolfie seems a bit better, and ate his normal breakfast. But I don't relish the prospect of having to take him and Bisou out on leashes every night.
This cloud is not, however, without a silver lining. Fishers are the only predator known to kill porcupines.