I first noticed it when she and I were out on the back deck last Spring.
A large flock of geese flew right over us, about thirty feet up. Mini, our Rat Terrier, went nuts, barking in response to their loud honking — but her eyes were looking back and forth around the back yard, not up at the geese.
She never saw them.
I guess it’s because her little canine brain had never needed to look for potential dangers up in the air.
Then there was that comet that came by this past Summer. You know, the one that only comes around every 85 gazillion years, that those cult members thought was going to take them to their home planet.
Anyway, for several nights, my wife and I had been going out into our side yard to look at the comet with our binoculars. We had called my parents and told them about it, but they couldn’t see it from their house, even after I told them to go in their front yard and look up over the Feigon’s house across the street. I guess the northern Chicago suburban sky was just too bright to be able to see it.
Anyway, one night, I thought it’d be nice to take Mini out in the yard to see the comet. After all, how many people can claim that their dog has seen the once-in-a-lifetime event?
So, I carried her out to the side yard and pointed up at the blurry white comet, telling her, “Look, Mini, there’s the comet!”
She immediately went into her guard dog mode, snapping her head from side to side as she searched the blackened yard for any sign of intruders.
“No, Mini, up HERE”, I said, as I snapped the fingers of my raised hand, trying to raise the focus of her attention.
She interpreted my sudden animation to be my way of telling her that I could see an enemy that she hadn’t yet seen. She instantly started barking furiously at the invisible foe in the darkness.
“No barking! No barking! There, there, it’s OK.” (pet, pet, stroke, pet)
After a minute, she calmed down and went back to silently scanning the property from the safety of my arms.
But she wouldn’t look up.
Why should she? She can’t see the sky.
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