I was just on the phone with Marsh, at 9:00pm for my evening "I've returned safely from my ride" call. I'm supposed to call them by 9, and I tried several times, but Mom was talking to my brother. Real worried about me, I guess. So Marsh took over the worrying and called me from his cell phone. I told him I'd fallen and broken my leg and was stranded in the woods far from home. He gave only a feeble laugh to my joke.
Anyway, in the middle of the call, Tessa, who I had noticed did not seem to be in the house, barked. I went to the door and called out to her, and then saw, dimly because it's night time here on the east side of the time zone, what looked like the outline of a cow in the yard. There are a lot of range cattle in the area right now, and the same gate that keeps K&A's horses in the yard keeps unwanted grazers out. When, that is, the gate is closed. Which it was not, because I remembered to water the new grass this evening after my ride instead of remembering to close the gate.
I quickly hung up with Marsh, borrowed a pair of rubber boots from the mud room (I'm still wearing my riding clothes and socks and all I have downstairs are flip flops), called the dogs (each by name, like Santa Claus), and ran outside as fast as I could. The cow was, fortunately, not too far into the yard, and she hauled ass back across the creek and through the open gate when she saw, and heard, the five of us, screeching like banshees.
In honor of their contributions to the functioning of this exclusive health spa, as I've been thinking of it (in the context, primarily, of "whoever's in charge of trail maintenance at this health spa has not done a very good job of clearing all of my favorite trails"), I have given each of the dogs a matching rawhide bone. Spackle, true to form, is sleeping with his, untouched, tucked in the crook of his tail. The other three are very much going to town.