All of last night and now apparently some significant part of today are to be devoted to coming alongside the stray, aggressive, injured, deaf, old, unneutered male dog who decided to colonize our homestead at dusk. My working plan then was to sleep outside, let him get used to our smell, and understand we’re not the enemy. It’s twelve hours later and that plan is in tatters. We have a little more information than we did at dusk (that he’s deaf, unneutered, and more than a little curmudgeonly), and he’s taken the food and water we set out, but that’s about it.
Every creature on the place but the sheep dog is penned up and will stay there until we can sort out a working relationship. Every bush, every object (including my shoes), and a serious number of pebbles on this five acres has been marked with this old dog’s urine. (He’s out now, of this I am sure. I don’t know how long it’ll take him to make new urine, but for now, he’s out.) Periodically through the night he would limp off a ways and just howl in frustration. And then he would come back, determined to move us out of here. Oh, for the wisdom of a Sunday to creep in about now. Sleep-deprived wisdom and just enough old-dog sense to ease his mind.
p.s. Likely only cactus spines in those front feet causing the exaggerated limp (which I characterized before as an injury—for a creature on foot in these lands, of course, it’s a wound and it hurts). He seems unable to hear anything at low registers, but I whistled just now and he stopped to see what that was. Got a closer look than before and wonder now if someone may not have abandoned him recently. He’s not been fending for himself too long yet. We just concocted a fine meal from our own with a pan of fresh water and set it all beside the place he’s using to cross under our field fence. Now comes the waiting and the wooing from one species not characterized by high trustworthiness overall for a single soul who has reasons long before us to doubt our sincerity or ability to be humane.