Looseleaf Laureate: Two dogs, a fly and some yawning cats

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By Terri Likens, Editor

We all have monsters of our own creation.
Last night, I was dealing with mine.
I have two Australian cattledogs. For people who know the breed, I’ve probably said enough with those few words.

For those who don’t, a little background: These are working dogs; they must be kept busy — usually keeping large numbers of cattle or sheep in line.
If you don’t give them a job, they will find one of their own, and (hint) you probably aren’t going to like it.
I don’t have cattle and own nary a sheep. The cats I do have refuse to take orders from me or anyone else.
And so my dogs have turned their attention to lesser beings.
Years ago, on a summer evening inside, a noisy fly buzzed through the room like he owned the joint.
“Get that fly,” I said, prodding the dogs.
My goal was to distract them from their usual evening routine of sitting in front of me, staring expectantly. Sometimes for hours.
The dogs took the bait, and it was game on.
First one and then the other dog snapped at the fly, following it from room to room, window to window, lamp to lamp.
They leaped into the air after it.
They tussled each other for access to it.
Eventually, the fly would lose or give up. Then I’d hear the unmistakable smacking of lips that has come to mean someone is having an insect appetizer at my house.
From that first day forward, any time a fly wanders in, Merlin and Lakota turn into an all-out SWAT (yeah, pun intended) team bent on the little buzzer’s demise.
These fly capers aren’t limited to daytime. I have been awakened at 2 a.m. by two dogs scampering across my bed on the trail of some fool fly.
These days, when I hear a fly, I make an effort to get to him first.
Don’t like this newspaper? It makes a dandy flyswatter.