It is sunday, may 22nd, and tomorrow, monday, may 23rd, i return to work after a 2 week vacation, most of which was spent on horn island (a small island in the gulf of mexico that has been designated as a nature reserve.
Slater (my nephew) is currently sleeping on my couch with a dvd playing the title screen over and over and over and over. the volume, which has since been turned down by me, was blasting throughout the night, but since my bed was so comfortable and engulfing, the option of getting up in the middle of the night and turning it off was not really an option. instead cursing my nephew for being able to sleep through a repeating 20 second sound bite while being in the same room as the tv and having the volume cranked way up was the option i went for. my lack of energy to get up in the night could also be linked to Slater's mother, which happens to be my sister.
My sister, who does not live across the street from my parents as i do, can sometimes find herself oblivious to the do's and dont's of the hill. one don't here is never agree to feed the rabbit dogs at the camp. these rabbit dogs (more beagles than one would ever want to see really), are owned by our father, bobby miller. they are a ravenous horde who despite their small frames, can often be overwhelming but always annoying. in avoiding this task, i find that when asked it is best just to pretend you did not hear the question all together then quickly before it is asked again make a statement like "i need to work on some paintings." or "i have to call work.", anything that requires your attention can usually work. my sister however did not know this and in fact she was excited to do it, and for some reason i got roped into it with her (blast!). so off we went, her with a crown and coke filled to the brim, and me with hazy mind, to feed the rabbit dogs. the camp in which the dogs habitat, is about 2 miles from my home set back in the woods off an orange dirt road that has seen better times. the camp is a serene setting with new grass growing, placed there recently from my parents yard which in turn was removed to make way for their new pool. oaks, pecans, and pines are scattered throughout the yard giving it alot of shade at any time of day. as we pulled up the first of the dogs appeared. these were the puppies, the ones that were free to roam since their roaming never took them too far. they are an extremely cute bunch, about 6 of them altogether, but they also have sharp nails and teeth which scratch and claw at you as they jump on you in excitement. Basically they are annoying, all except one, the only one that i have taken a liking to really. I think his name is pancake. he is laid back and his eyes never seem to be looking in the same direction which endears him to me more. we walk to the right side of the camp constantly having to yell, "get off my leg!", "get down!", and "leave me the hell alone!". this seems to fall on deaf ears as the puppies continue to jump, stumble, and yep directly in your foot steps. my sister makes comments on how cute they are but i just sneer. the pen where the older dogs live, who by this time are howling and barking like crazy, is filled with piss and shit and smells of it too. it is a most unpleasant place, one that i avoid as you well know. the task of feeding the rabbit dogs goes something like this:
1. Pokey is an older dog and requires canned dog food. you must remove Pokey's old ass from the pen, and feed her separate from the rest. this task in itself sounds easy but it is the most difficult. one must yell and scream "get back" (threats of the dog's well being seem to work as well), and kick the fence when ever they approach, generally be a son of a bitch, because if you are not, they will most certainly smell your weakness. pokey does not respond to this ranting like the others for she knows that she is old and that it is her you are freeing. she will sit by the gate until opened and merely walk out while the others cower in to a corner.
2. once you have let pokey out and fed her, it is time to hoist the 50 lb bag of dog food over your shoulder and fill all the feeders and bowls scattered across the camp ground. there are several dogs around the camp tied to trees and poles. these, i think, are good hunting dogs because they have won the privilege of not living in the stink pen.
3. the final task is getting pokey back in the pen, which she will willingly do once you have managed to get the others cowered into a corner so that you may open the gate. once pokey is in you have to feed the bastards in the cage. with the food bag over your shoulder, movement is restricted and cumbersome which the dogs sense and act on. they jump and paw at you which when wearing shorts, (i usually am) is very painful. once you have fed each dog, water all the bowls, and you are done. Hooray!Warning: The gate to the pen is locked by two handles, a top one and bottom one. One must lock both even if leaving only for a minute. if either is left undone the dogs will sense it and bull rush it in packs of three or four. they are crafty.
on this day, due to my sister's lack of knowledge in regards to these rules, especially the warning one, a great rabbit dog escape occurred. as i carried the food over my shoulder and my sister followed me with drink in hand away from the dog pen, a great commotion occurred from behind. in turning, i was able to see three of the dogs ram the fence, opening it enough to start a waterfall of beagles to pour out into the yard. as they freed themselves from the pen, so did they from the yard as one after the other dashed into the woods. i dropped the food and ran to stop the tide and maybe catch one or two, my sister took a sip followed by "Your free!". This makes me think she was in on the whole escape plan to begin with. i managed to catch one dog and put him back while 6 got away. we could hear them bark and howl as they got further away, maybe chasing up game but i imagine just yelling back to us "Suckers!". In the end, father was not too happy about the whole incident or really too mad. hell, maybe we'll find those bastards one day but for right now, i don't really care. right now it's sunday, May 22nd, and i am going to go enjoy the sunlight.