Every year I vow to write more about the garden, and every year I don’t. It’s my way of giving you something to look forward to for next year. Right now, we’re in the summer doldrums–we have lots of spring and early summer blooms, but not a lot that is new right now. Most of it is the deer food mentioned above: lilies, hosta, jeruselem artichokes, that sort of thing. Last night, my wife was awakened by the sound of deer munching on lily stalks below her window. It was that loud. I had to shuffle down to the porch and let out the dog, who has learned to run the deer to the edge of the property then stand down–it’s kind of an awesome thing. If I point, shake my arm, and say “go get em, baby” she’ll bolt from corner to corner of the yard, looking for deer in all the usual places, without losing herself in the chase. Some dogs will run deer until the deer drop from exhaustion–mine just wants them gone.
Essi’s full name is Esmeralda, which is what happens when you let toddlers name a perfectly innocent puppie. She is a Scorpio who likes long walks in the woods, fresh baby rabbits, belly rubs and roadkill. She’s a purely bred Great American Kennel Mutt and, like Benji, a dog of all seasons. Her N.A. name is Deer Runner, because she’ll chase the whitetail deer to the edge of the property and stop. Her rapper name is E-Doggie Dawg, and her slept-on-the-furniture-while-we-were-out name is D-3, which is short for Damn Dirty Dog–you know, like in Planet of the Apes. Except she’s a dog, not an ape.
Last fall, Essi nearly died of a bowel obstruction–she’s eaten three silicone muffin cups nearly a year before and carried them around in her stomach before they finally lodged in her intestine. I’d always vowed I wouldn’t be one of those people who spend lots of money on sick animals, but–nearly a thousand dollars and one major surgery later she’s back for her twelfth year with us.