My dogs have always been better reporters than I. They have no compunction about getting down to the nitty gritty filth of it all. They revel in it, and as a team they are incredible.
Billy, the slightly scrufty older reporter has seen it all, mostly twice. He never met a bone he couldn't worry down to the marrow or a smell he couldn't put a name to. Cautious and slow to make decisions, he waddles with all glacial speed down the block.
Baby leads at the end of her tether. She appears to be a mini sled dog, tugging and pulling along to the next sniff, the next and better story. I am stopped short by 20 pounds of stalled Westie male newshound and jerked forward by 11 pounds of Westie girl reporter.
Baby bounds ahead. Cat, cat, cat, racketycoons, dog, cat, cat, BOBCAT! Dog, dog, turkle. SNAKEHOLE! Bounce, bounce, bounce, tug.
One sniff at a time, Billy follows, accessing the facts. Mommy and 2 kittens, family of racoons. Bad dog, stay away. The old tortoise, cat, Elisabeth's cat, Billy's own Bob the cat. Mozart, and Rascal are good dogs, friends. Our old friend Grampus the turtle whose tunnel must be visited each and every day. Stay away from the snake hole. Slow down!
The owl hoots in the 11 acre jungle across the road. It is growing dark and I can barely see him in the top of the tree. Both reporters become wary. Billy in front, on guard, he'll take on anyone or anything that threatens his story or his family. Baby slides behind me, taking on the better part of valor. She will let the big dogs handle the big stuff.
Billy swells to an amazing size. His shoulders widen as he plants his front feet in warrior fashion. His usually placid face takes on a ferocious grin. He has gained 15 pounds of sheer attitude. I don't think the owl is impressed, but I am. Billy can handle it. He is Baby's hero. We proceed along the street, Billy slowly subsiding to normal size. We walk on into the dark.
At the corner Billy stops to peer down the dark road. He parks his backside and makes it clear that he is not going down that path.
Wisdom says not to go where Billy does not want to go. We turn back toward the lights at the far end of the woods. Home, with stories to report for the doggie gazette.