I really never liked small dogs. Growing up we had medium to large dogs. All my brothers and sisters have had large dogs. As an adult I didn't get a dog until about 4 years ago when I took in my daughter-in-law's dog. Big dog is part German Shepard, Rottweiler, and Lab. She's the perfect blend of watch dog and lap dog. She ran off the mountain lion. One look at her and strangers don't come near our property. She does stay up much of the night barking at the coyotes and other critters. But sometimes she goes to sleep on the job.
Army daughter's Maltese had puppies last year. We were given one, our next door neighbor was given one, oldest daughter got the only boy, and son-in-law's aunt got the fourth. Our puppy was accidentally killed while boy was playing with her. I said I wouldn't ever get another small dog. Then the next door neighbors asked us if we wanted theirs. It seems they travel even more than I do and their dog was too stupid to get out of the rain. She got sick and cost them a large vet bill. I said we'd share dogs. After all, our big dog spends a lot of her time over at their house. I'm sure it doesn't have anything to do with them feeding her all their left over people food every day! They agreed that we could share dogs. They asked if I'd housebreak theirs. Sure.
And that led to our second Yip-yip. She's been ours for about 7 months. Almost every night she comes in the house and goes straight to her kennel to be locked in for the night. I cover the kennel with a towel so we don't disturb her while she tries to sleep and we are still awake. She wakes up right around six each morning. We let her out of the kennel, she runs outside and spends most of the day outside. Sometimes she comes in the house to see what we are doing.
On Thursday night I got home late from traveling, sent out some emails, then went to bed. My boss sent an email that he was going to call me in the morning. I sent one back asking that he call after his morning conference calls rather than before. I was going to sleep in. After all, oldest daughter still had the grand kids and she was going to bring them to school in the morning. Sleeping in. Maybe I could even get Yip-yip to sleep in since I was putting her to bed way after her normal 7:00 bedtime.
Nothing doing! Big dog barks a lot during the night. I can tell that she's barking at coyotes and dogs. It doesn't wake me, nor does it wake the neighbor. At 4:30 Yip-yip started barking. It's too early, go back to sleep! No, she wouldn't stop. Big dog was outside barking too. I thought Yip-yip was going to bust out of her kennel, she was bouncing off the kennel walls. So I got up and let her out of the kennel. She went to the back door and wanted out. I turned on the light and didn't see anything so I opened the door. She ran out barking and I peeked my head out the door. Two pit bulls were on my patio. She started chasing them and big dog came running around the house and started chasing the two pit bulls as well. Armed with my handgun, I decided to go into my room and get a rifle. I then went outside to go find the dogs. I wasn't worried about the big dog but I wasn't sure the pit bulls weren't going to turn around and attack Yip-yip. I found Yip-yip and the big dog at the next door neighbors. The two pit bulls were no where in sight. I gave both dogs a milk bone and went back into the house. So much for sleeping in.
This evening I was reading and didn't get Yip-yip in at 7:00. At about 8:30 she started barking on the back patio. Was she barking at the frogs? Right now it's frog season. You can't hardly walk outside at night without stepping on a frog. It's disgusting but they sure keep the bugs down. Yip-yip doesn't normally bark at frogs. What's the problem? I turned on the patio light to see what she was barking at. I couldn't tell. I was hoping it wasn't a skunk! It's been about a year since the skunk came into the house. Hurts my nose just thinking about it.
I went out on the back patio to see what was causing her to have such a fit. A snake. It was huge, over three feet long. In the 15 years of living in this house, up until this year I had only seen three snakes. This spring we've seen about seven or eight in the back yard and barn. It's a banner year for mice so I'm hoping the snakes eat them all. This snake was a King snake. It's black and yellow striped. The snake was shaking the end of its tail pretending to be a rattlesnake. It was really funny. I picked up a still barking Yip-yip and together we watched the snake slither its way off the patio and into a hole next to the house. Around here snake identification is easy. The only bad snake is the rattle snake and California has six different kinds. They have a triangular shaped head. Good snakes have a head that is in the shape of the end of your finger.
Yip-yip is doing just what small dogs do. They bark when something isn't right and they don't stop barking until the situation has ended. Good dog.