Last night I looked out the back window a little after midnight and I saw a very large opossum running along the top of my back fence. Suspecting it might be trying for my new chickens, I summoned the dogs and sent all three of them out into the yard. Belle and Merida just goofed around aimlessly for a minute before peeing and coming back inside, but Murphy...ah, that dog. He never saw the opossum but he put his nose in the air, took an alert stance, and went right to the corner of the fence where I’d last seen it. I’d lost sight of it while rallying the dog troops but old Murphy scented it right off and went hunting for it. For a few minutes he paced the fence in that back corner, pretty sure that something he wanted was on the other side. He’s about 12 years old now; old for a Shepherd. He has arthritis and can't run any more, and his eyes are clouding up a bit with age, but that old dog’s still very much alert and aware and motivated, still more so than either of the others have been or ever will be. Senior dog or not, he was all about taking the fight to whatever was out there last night. He was so beautiful to watch, and I’m proud to have him as my dog buddy. I know my home is in good paws when he's watching over it.
Always on watch, this one.