True Stories from “out back”


Photos by Jenna Lane

Hello, my loyal fans. Did I say fans? I meant friends. Really, I did. Anyway, it is my pleasure to talk to you again and I look forward to telling you about what’s been going on here at “The Homestead” since we last chatted in the fall.

The winter months can be some serious downtime for Zeke ol’ boy. There really isn’t much excitement around here that time of year. Critters are all hibernating so there is hardly anything to chase out of the yard, and seldom any warm place to lay…except in my carpeted dog house. Sometimes, when the boss invites me inside, I enjoy relaxing in front of the woodstove.

Yes, it’s been a long, cold, lonely season; life “out back” in the winter time truly doesn’t lend itself to many good stories, especially since, for the most part, I hardly leave the yard. After all, it can be dangerous. Read on.

My boss’s boss loves to go for morning walks in the woods, and often takes me along with her.

Like all dogs, I am kind of curious. Well, my nose is anyway. So the idea of checking out some strange territory appeals to me…especially when not much else is happening. One day this past winter we ended up walking early on a Sunday morning before church, so the boss was able to tag along. Boy oh boy was I glad he was with us that day!

There we were. Just the three of us enjoying the beauty of the sun rising over a fresh snowfall along a wooded trail. It was delightful indeed. I was doing my usual…running helter-skelter, over the river and through the woods, trying in vain to find something to chase up a tree. Nothing! Zip, zilch, zero! It seemed like we were the only thing in the woods that had any life in it at all.

After about an hour of this I was growing a bit weary of having nothing in my nose but snow. When all of a sudden I smelled something fantastic! The odor was somewhat like another dog, a very pretty girl dog in my opinion, but there were no tracks. I followed the scent only a short distance when it became intense and seemed to be buried right at my feet. Strange! I had never known a dog to bury itself under the snow before. What happened next was sheer terror!

After looking closely, I thought I would use my paw to uncover this beautiful canine from her snowy grave and accept my just reward. I had barely scratched the surface of the snow when WHAM!. “What the heck?” I thought. Something grabbed my foot and wasn’t letting go!

I squealed in horror. Where was the boss? I yelped. Here I am with some kind of devil attached to my foot and where is he? Enjoying a walk with his wife while I am about to die! What a way to go, alone in the woods. Alone…and hungry.    

Suddenly, they both appeared and proceeded to rescue me. They assured me that everything was going to be okay if I could just hold still while the boss got the devil off my foot. Well, I didn’t have much choice now did I? But we go way back, and he has never lied to me yet, so I held still while he mustered his strength to release me. In a matter of seconds I was free. No pain, no devil chasing after me, but no pretty girl dog either. Thanks to the boss I wasn’t still trapped in the woods and my paw was okay.                     

On the way home to The Homestead – my safe place – I learned that someone had set a trap for a wild dog called a coyote. Apparently they give these traps the scent of a girl coyote to attract the males, and it works. I mean that thing smelled good. Trickery! Never again will I fall for that scheme. But just in case, the boss made a tool that his wife could use to free me. Great idea! However, when he said something sarcastic about keeping my nose clean, I grumbled, “Whatever!”

Until next time remember this: NEVER trust your nose, and ALWAYS watch your step!

Happy spring from The Outback.

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Special correspondent Zeke writes about his experiences as a porch layin’, yard guardin’, boss pleasin’ cattle dog from southern Lapeer county.


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