Tessa has been acting a little bit bonkers lately (I should, perhaps, clarify this to “A little more bonkers than usual”).
She’s always been a frequent pee-er, more so now in her old age, and getting up two or three times during the night to let her outside is now standard operating procedure for us. I can now get up, let her out, let her in, and stumble back into bed without ever really fully waking up.
The last few weeks, however, Tessa has been off her food, which has led to us feeding her more or less anything she wants. This, in turn, has led to her having the runs – specifically to her having the runs at 3 or 4 am, sometimes both, sometimes even more than that.
Like most Frenchies, Tessa is a shy pooper. She needs to know she’s someplace where no one else, dog or human, can see her going. This can usually be in the form of a bush or shrub, but last night, Tessa seemed inable to find just the right spot, with just the right amount of privacy, and so she hit the trail for what we refer to as some “Frenchie off roading”. That’s where she starts trucking across the yard, full speed ahead, even though she doesn’t really seem to have a destination in mind.
The problem, of course, was that she went off roading in the middle of the night – and our nights, up here away from the glow of cities and industry, are dark nights, especially when there’s no moon out. Last night was overcast, cloudy, and indigo dark. Anything outside the immediate pool of light from our porch was invisible and unseeable, and this including my little white French Bulldog, who was, if not heading for the hills, then at the very least heading for the spruce bush at the side of our property. Our bush is thick and tangled, leading down into a swampy area and from there into a shallow but fast moving stream, and Tessa was heading right for it.
I woke Sean out of a dead sleep by shreiking for him to find the flashlight, while I headed out in barefeet and housecoat to try and catch Tessa. Catching something you can no longer see is difficult at the best of times, and made worse when the dog you’re chasing can’t hear you.
Ten minutes of panic stricken searching, and there she was, looking cold and damp and decidely confused. I scooped her up, carried her into the house, and tucked her into bed. When she needed out again, two hours later, I let her out into the safely fenced downstairs yard. Tessa has lost off road privileges for good, it seems.