The adventures of Cooper Michel

by Lorin Michel Monday, August 11, 2014 9:43 PM

Episode 6: Tail waggin’ crime fighter

Today’s installment in the occasional serial comedy of the intrepid super dog, Cooper Michel, finds our fur-covered hero snoozing in the early morning hours of Monday. The sun was parting the trees, drying the still wet grass. I heard it first, the gate to the east swinging open, squeaking and snarling. Footsteps on the gravel just inside the yard. Cooper stretched, his tags hitting the floor. He sighed, his eyes still closed, his breathing steady. I opened my eyes and waited, listening. Kevin opened his eyes and looked at me sleepily. The guys are here.

Every Monday is when the landscaper’s come. In the summer they come even earlier than they come the rest of the year in order to beat the heat. Into the quiet they sneak, with little to no thought given to the idea that those whose yards they are landscaping might still be nestled deep in their beds, visions of coffee dancing in their heads.

The leaf blowers and weed whackers and lawn mowers whirred to life, shattering any peace not just for us but for our close-proximity neighbors. I rolled onto my side and tried to ignore it, but a raging, gas powered leaf blower right below the window at 6:25 will. Not. Be. Ignored.

I sighed and flipped over on my back, pulling the covers up under my chin, as if that would make the rattle of the windows stop. I watched out the still-open blinds on the French door leading out to the patio, blinds that I usually close at night but haven’t the last couple of nights so that I could watch the super moon, and the eerie light it cast on the back yard, shadows dancing on the grass.

I didn’t see the landscaper as he stepped onto the patio but Cooper did. In a flash of fur and slobber he was up and bounding toward the door. Faster than a speeding food bowl, more powerful than a handful of cookies, able to leap – well, he can’t really get off the ground, which is why he’s on a diet, but you get the general idea. He’s Super Cooper.

He barked once, twice, five times, with such force that he blew his front legs up off the floor. I told you he was powerful. He was protecting the house. He was protecting his people. I snapped my fingers and said shhhhhh, and he gave a little snarl and a puff and then he trotted over to my side of the bed, my tail wagging crime fighter, my great protector.

Maguire was never much of a protector. As big and bad as he looked, he was a cream puff. He never barked at the landscapers. Even when the doorbell rang, it only warranted maybe three deep-throated barks. Whoever was at the door was greeted with a big swish of his plume tail. Come on in, let me show you where the good stuff is. Do you have any cookies?

Cooper will rip the head off of anyone who tries to come into our house without permission. He will do it with a tail swish as well, but he’ll talk lots of smack and he’ll snarl. Anything to keep the intruders away.

He settled his big superhero self on the floor next to me, but near the end of the bed so he could still keep an eye out. He watched, ears alert, puffing as needed. Whether it was a bird, a mower or a leaf floating down where it’s not wanted, he was ready. He was alert. He was Cooper Michel, crime fighter, living it out loud.

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live out loud

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