New Year’s Eve 2013

December 31, 2013

The last day of the year. It’s been kind of a rough year for A.J. So, he decided to end it on a fitting note.

This morning a hawk landed on our back fence with its breakfast, another bird. A.J. saw it and went nuts. I didn’t want him to run out and scare the hawk away, in part because I didn’t want the hawk to drop the dead bird into our yard. So I distracted A.J. by playing tug with him, then I got out the turkey dogs and worked with him until the hawk flew away. The really good thing is that working with him did distract him – he’d rather do tricks for turkey dogs than obsess over a hawk. After that we went for a walk, where he was pulling like crazy most of the way.

In the afternoon the temperature got into the mid-30s and the sun was trying to peek out, so I decided I needed to get out on my bike. I hadn’t been on a bike ride since December 4. A.J. started to get upset, as usual, but when I walked out into the garage I heard him start barking. As we rode away, I could hear him still barking.

I didn’t ride very far, only about six miles, so I wasn’t gone very long. When I got back to the house I heard a horrible, mournful howling coming from inside. Initially I was irritated. We’d left A.J. alone several times after Christmas and he’d done fine. Now he was barking and howling. What was the deal? But then he kept up the howling after I had opened the garage door, and it was a horrible, horrible sound. So I then became afraid he’s gotten himself caught in something or stuck somewhere and was hurt or scared, so I put by bike away and went running into the house.

A.J. was fine. He came wiggling up to me like he was in trouble. I looked around the house and didn’t see anything out of place. Everything was fine. But it took a long time for him to calm down. I kept trying to go back to the garage to finish putting my things away, but A.J. was just too crazy. It took me about five tries before we could go calmly out the door. It took close to an hour for him to completely calm down.

Here’s to a better, calmer 2014.

And as I say that he’s barking because he heard a dog on TV. Sigh.