Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Faces at the Window

Since the weather has been so warm, and since we don't have central air conditioning, Baxter and Elsie have been spending more time outdoors, usually most of the morning and late afternoon and evenings when it's cool.

Ridge still prefers the indoors unless he's training or going for a walk/run. I think the openness of our backyard overwhelms him, especially after spending the two years before coming to live us in an enclosed kennel. He's happy sleeping and panting on the cool brick floor of our family room.

Baxter and Elsie prefer the outdoors. Elsie would stay outside 24/7 if we allowed her. She's content to lounge on the welcome mat beneath the back door or to sprawl under the shade-giving umbrella after swirling her nose in the kiddie pool.

Baxter is more restless. As much as he loves the outdoors and being with Elsie, Baxter can't seem to stay outdoors without at least checking on what's happening inside. Poor conflicted Boos. He'll snooze beneath the pin oak or hang out under the picnic table only so long. Then he seems compelled to check on us indoor folks.

So what's his solution?

He jumps up on the picnic table and peers inside the family room window. He has the best view that way (smart boy). He stands outside looking in just to make sure we're all okay or that he's not missing something.

That's all well and good, but I wish I'd had some warning about his new investigative behavior. I was carrying a load of laundry to the laundry room when I happened to walk by the window through which Baxter peered. Imagine my surprise to see two glistening brown eyes and giant black head staring at me through the window! I nearly dropped the laundry basket. As it was I thought my heart stopped for a moment.

As a kid I watched too many horror movies that contained images of vicious stalkers and malevolent strangers staring through windows at unsuspecting prey. I always had this fear of faces at the window outside looking in. They unnerved me.

Maybe it's the scary movies I absorbed as a child. Or maybe I was like the returned-from-Neverland Peter Pan crying at the nursery window as he watched his parents cooing over their new baby boy; I didn't want to be the one left out, trapped forever outside looking in.

Whatever it is, I didn't like faces in the window.

Then came Baxter. Now I have to laugh. Every time I see his eager face smiling and drooling at the window, I giggle. I have to smile.

There's nothing threatening about that face. And he is, after all, just checking up on us. A face at the window, I'm learning, is nothing to fear.

Thanks, Boos, for the lesson. And for making me smile once again.

'Til next time,

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