Doggie on the Inside Looking Out

I have a golf practice net in my side yard. It’s convenient, sometimes, to take a quick break from work and hit a few balls into the net. Jamie used to go with me to the side yard to keep me company. But she always watched from the other side of the net. I guess she was afraid she might get bonked by an errant ball if she came to my side of the net.

Callie’s still into eating shrubs and bushes, so we don’t give her the free run of the yard. So when I to my net, I usually slip out the back bathroom door and around the back of the house to the net. The way our house is laid out, Callie can’t see me going out. But not that it really matters.

But a few weeks ago, we had a family of scrub jays in a white camellia bush just outside my office window. I could see them easily from my office. The mom & pop scrub jays built their nest, protected their eggs, and had four or five baby scrub jays. For a few days, they used my back yard as a hunting ground for bugs for their babies.

During this time, I used the front door to get to my golf practice net, because I could avoid walking too close to the scrub jays’ nest.

But when I went that way, Callie could catch a glance of me, sometimes, through the den window. When she saw me, she climbed up on the sofa and looked wistfully through the window. She made it very clear that she wanted to be out there with me.

One of the feel-good rewarding things about being in a close relationship with your dog is those moments when it says, “Hey, I really want to be sharing this time with you.”

Back, for a moment, to the scrub jays. I got some sweet video footage of mama scrub jay feeding her babies.

And then they were gone.

On a Friday morning, the babies (which were still quite small – way too small to fly), mama and papa just evaporated. The nest is still there intact. When we left on our morning jog that Friday morning, with Callie, we wondered if we saw a mocking bird flying close to the scrub jays’ nest, but we weren’t sure.

There are lots of crows in the neighborhood, but the scrub jays seemed to have chosen a place that was pretty protected from them by a lemon tree and the camellia bush. Okie Dokie, our cat, was locked inside so she couldn’t harm the birds, but there are a few other cats in the neighborhood. It’s hard to imagine a cat getting the birds without also destroying the nest.

So what happened to our scrub jays remains one of Mother Nature’s mysteries.