Jake appeared at our door eighteen years ago I think, with a small cut on his neck probably from going through the barbed wire fence. He did not complain as my sister-in-law and I sat him down to treat the wound. I think she would have taken him home with her if she didn’t live so far away! Our veterinarian said he appeared to be eight months old, and a cross between Golden Retriever and Chow. Jake decided to make us his forever family and we’ve never regretted his decision.
About 2:45 this morning, he came into my room to awaken me. He was panting as if he was having an anxiety attack. As I reached for my shoes, he started heading for the door. Right behind him I opened it, flipped on the light, he went out on the porch but just stood there. I expected him to run down to the yard. It was then I noticed the look on his expressive face. Instinctively, I knew he had sensed something and wanted me know. I also knew he would not calm down until I was able to assure him everything was alright.
We live in the country and it was dark, I reached back inside the door for the large flashlight. I said, “Come on Jake,” as we headed to the cart. He followed with no hesitation. I drove slowly as he walked along side; out to the path, around the corral, past the barn, chickens asleep on their roost, past pay bales, the shop and equipment – making a big circle back to the house.
I really enjoy being out at night. The sounds of nature are soothing to me. Frequently, especially on full moon nights, I watch the cows grazing in the pasture and listen to the birds and chorus of insects, stopping at various places to enjoy the shift in the breezes. This morning, it was different. The cattle decided to bed down in the woods away from the house. There was no wind at all; the heat of the day was still rising from the ground – when I stopped the quiet cart, there was absolutely no sound. This was totally unexpected.
When we got back to the house, I sat down in the chair inside the door. Jake lay down with his head resting on my feet. In a few minutes, he stopped panting and fell sound asleep.
This morning I had to make a trip into town to buy supplies. At one store, I related the story to a friend. “I still can’t figure out what his problem was.” With a smile, she assured me she knew. The exact same event had happened to her family during the drought of 1980. There was at least one timber wolf on the property, trying to find water. She said the cows had moved to the woods with their calves – away from water, they knew they would be safe.