This was a week absolutely filled with animal nonsense. Allow me to elaborate.

1. Our dog Sorcia met her “cousin” Pumpkin when my sister’s family came for a visit from Kansas. Our dog was a little over-excited – like a giant, 80 pound toddler who gets really wound up and then crashes later. We got both dogs to sit for a photo, but the glowing eye thing is a bit creepy. Pumpkin spent the visit swimming in our pool every possible moment (Golden Retriever mode), while Sorcia worriedly watched everybody from the side of the pool, whining and crying, as though they were too stupid to take care of themselves (German Shepherd mode).

2. We also discovered a Mouse in the house. I was talking to my sister, Laurie, late on Sunday evening when I noticed her eyes kept sliding past me in a very distracted way. I figured I knew what she was looking at and I said, without bothering to turn around, “Which of the children is up?” She shook her head. “I don’t know if you want to know this, but you have a mouse.” Apparently, the little fellow had just climbed the stairs from the finished basement/guest room (“Where I have to sleep!” my sister pointed out), sauntered across the kitchen, and took refuge in the front room. We turned to stare accusingly at the two dogs, who were both passed out asleep in the family room, completely oblivious and useless. Nothing like this used to happen when we had our cat Maui (R.I.P.), killer of all things furry and small. We didn’t call him The Black Death for nothing! Oh, how we miss poor Maui!

3. Among the various dogs, cats, raccoons, possums, groundhogs, and deer we have loose in our neighborhood, we can now add a billy goat. (complete with cowbell) This handsome fellow has been spotted traipsing through the neighborhood and was photographed (much like Big Foot) by my neighbor, Kathy. “Trip, trap, trip trap,” pattered the Little Billy Goat Gruff. “Tis only I, come to assess the length of grass in the Surrey Hills neighborhood and determine a good asking price for my services!” And, frankly, we are very happy to have him, because the lawn service employed by half the neighborhood has been AWOL these past 2 weeks due to 102 degree temperatures interspersed with random driving rain.

4. Finally, I was happily drafting my WIP when, in the middle of an “unplugged” Practice Room session, I realized that one of my characters had just harvested honey in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania in February, 1852. I don’t think so!! I had failed to adequately calculate how the sequence of events of this historical mystery would line up. Drat. No bees in February of any year in PA! I now have to re-adjust the events of the story. That’s what first drafts are for, I guess.

Any animals bugging you this week?