For a couple of months there has been a large bird sitting on the fence when we take Happy outside for great portions of the night.
I am not sure if this dark shadow is an owl or a hawk. This bird has sad quietly on our fence for weeks with no issue. But the other day, a more narrow looking large bird was sitting in this birds spot. I did not think too much of the difference in shapes. Not that I have not been keeping watch. Knowing that this is a bird of prey, a fairly large bird of prey, and that even at 20 pounds Happy is not a very big dog who needs extra attention due to his blindness, I was never more than a few feet away.
The other night I was really tired. I have missed multiple nights of sleep taking care of Happy and my sick mother. And to make matters worse, my right side has been acting up again so I was feeling too weak to remain standing. With such a large bird in the area I dared not go to far, especially since during the day we have been having occasional visits from a very brave hawk that gets near the house.
And is rather comfortable with us being outside. So comfortable that a few weeks ago it spend some time sitting on the fence watching us sit in the yard a few dozen yards away watching Happy. And did not mind when my mother came out of the house to talk with us for a few minutes.
I knew that I could not safely stand for very long, so I decided that I would sit on the chair that was only a couple of inches from the porch door. Happy was only 2-3 feet from the door so it took me a couple of seconds to go back inside and turn around. Before I could sit down, I saw a sight that terrified me. Hoping to take advantage of the couple of seconds that my back was turned, the large bird had covered more than half of our yard.
Fortunately I had not sat down and was able to take the one or two steps needed to go back outside and yell at the bird as it made it the last few feet needed to reach Happy. The hawk was so close that even in the very low light I could see its legs stretched out. Its wings were so close that as I raised my hands preparing for a possible fight, a few more inches to a foot and I would have been able to touch it.
Thankfully even though the hawk was directly over Happy’s head and only a couple of feet at the most from reaching him, the hawk decided that my appearance had thwarted its plans. With a quick turn it veered off, barely missing the wall of our house, and took off into the safety of night.
Fortunately, knowing that the hawk had been roaming around, and had showed almost no fear of us, we were never to far away. Plus, extra concerned for Happy’s safety now that he was blind, my mother had created a small fence of odds and ends from the garage to keep Happy from wandering off where we could not see or protect him.
The strange thing is that while our home is on the edge of the city, we are no longer living in a country living setting. Our lot is only 1/3 of an acre and is actually one of the bigger lots in our development. And our back yard is adjacent to a group of duplexes. We used to have a bunch of trees nearby, but they were all cleared out for new homes several years ago. And now we are surrounded by homes.
It would seem that now that houses have replaced most of the trees, we would have little to fear from predators. Yet now that all the trees are gone, the hawk has become a common sight in our yard, and has seemingly lost most of its fear of us.
This just proves that whether it is city or country, we must always be on guard to protect our precious four footed family members. The good news is that Happy was not hurt, but if I had not turned around and looked before siting in the chair, it might have been a different story. Even when it seems like there should be no danger, it only takes a couple of seconds of a turned back for disaster to strike.
I never would have imagined that the hawk would risk getting within 2-3 feet of my back door while I was only a foot or two away. But thinking that it had an opportunity, the hawk definitely proved me wrong. Needless to say last night when we took Happy out, we also brought a broom as an extra safety measure.