So, jolted none-too-gently from a sound sleep, my first response was to issue a very effective command to the dogs to calm down. I think it was something like, “OH DEAR LORD, PLEASE SHUT UP!” May I add here that I am a professional dog trainer? Yes, I am. Impressive demonstration of my abilities, I know. Let me know if you want my business card.
When my command did not result in a return to immediate, blissful silence, I too joined the pack at the window to see what in the world inspired such a frenzy. Coyote? Raccoon? Mastodon? Zombie attack? Nope. Jerry Swinefeld? Yep.
Yes, my 900 pound hog had decided to escape his pasture and come for a little early morning visit to the house. Apparently, I have failed to teach my large porcine friend proper etiquette when it comes to the art of dropping in uninvited.
So, in my pajamas, robe and house shoes, I stepped onto the porch where I was greeted by the familiar soft grunting of one pleased-to-see-me hog. My hogs have a little greeting they give me that I choose to interpret as an expression of endearment, but realistically, it’s probably more of a may-I-have-a-cookie plea.
I said good morning to my charming escape-artist and gave him a reluctant scratch on the head. After all, how the heck do you scold a giant slab of pig? Jerry and I walked back to the barn together where his barn-mate, Spamela Anderson, was still sound asleep. See that Jerry? ASLEEP.
Yes, I gave him some cookies for coming along with me and for going back in his pen without a fuss. Trust me, if he wants to, Jerry can make quite a fuss. Rewarding compliance is a wise choice. I identified his latest escape route–he pushed out a section of the barn wall–and made a temporary repair. If I seem rather blase’ about the fact that one of my animals pushed through the wall of my barn, you have to understand that it’s not the first time it’s happened, and I have to assume you’ve never lived with giant hogs.
Peace restored to the barn, I shuffled back to the house where I could hopefully grab a couple more hours of sleep before the day was really supposed to begin. The dogs where still crazy, so I pacified them by letting them all take deep sniffs of my hands. This was my way of telling them that it was Jerry outside the window, not the rabid bear they were so certain it was just a short time ago.
Within 15 minutes of my very rude awakening, I was back snug in my bed and feeling very grateful. You may think it’s odd to find gratitude in this event, but find it I did. For one thing, it was NOT a rabid bear (we don’t have bears around here, but my dogs have very vivid imaginations), it was not a zombie attack (though we ARE ready for that). Perhaps more importantly, I am the one who discovered Jerry on the lam. I did NOT receive a phone call from sleepy, startled neighbors. Yeah, that has happened too. Jerry can cover quite a few acres in a surprisingly short amount of time.
So I drifted back into near-sleep, happy and content…until something set the dogs off once again. Who needs an alarm clock when apparently you have zombies to shoot? Ah sleep…we shall meet another night. Farm animals 1 – Sandman 0, but who’s keeping score?