To the moon: Flight of fancy | SkyHiNews.com
Jon de Vos
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To the moon: Flight of fancy

Jon DeVos

My dogs are building a spaceship at night.

Our basset hound, Freeta Goodhome, showed great mechanical aptitude with tools as a pup. Once she ate the handles off an entire set of borrowed Stanley screwdrivers, including the Phillips Head and the right angle attachment. I don't know if it's worth a bumper sticker bragging about her but she did this when she was only two years old! I'm not sure that our new dog Surely's manual skills are on a par with Freeta's, but on the other hand, she'll do anything for a liver treat.

Actually, I'm fairly certain about the spaceship. It's the only theory that holds up to explain the noise and carrying on after we've gone to bed. I'm pretty convinced that my wife thinks so too. The other night she was sound asleep while I was listening to them bumping around downstairs, making little spaceship parts, when a particularly loud crash woke her up.

I figured that they had dropped one of the stabilizer rockets and gave it little thought. But she sat up and said, "Did you hear that?" I told her that everything was okay; the dogs were downstairs building a spaceship. She took it in stride, "Oh that's nice," she said, and flopped back into her pillow. So I guess she knows all about it.

I told her that everything was okay; the dogs were downstairs building a spaceship. She took it in stride, “Oh that’s nice,” she said, and flopped back into her pillow.

If I'm right, they're headed for the moon and I think it's been a long time in the planning. For months they sat rump-by-rump, staring longingly at that pale orb shining above. With little provocation, Surely would suddenly burst into a shrill treble howl to which Freeta would join in with full-throated basso profundo bellows.

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I would fly downstairs trying to make them shut up lest they wake She Who Would Prefer Not to Be Woken along with all the neighbors. I'd find the two of them, sitting in the moonlight on their ample butts, noses pointing at the object of their affliction. The most unearthly yelps and moans would be coming through little round O's on their curled lips.

Pleading with them had absolutely no effect, driving me slightly barmy. One night I gave up and decided to join them. I got down on all fours and started wailing and barking as loud as they were. That stopped them in their tracks. They whirled and looked at me like I had just plopped in from the sky wearing buffalo horns. Then and there, I discovered that howling like a loon is pretty darned cathartic! I was really getting into it, finishing up with a spectacular warbling ululation when the lights flipped on. The three of us pivoted on our haunches to see my wife staring incredulously at the scene below in her living room. It took a while for things to calm down and everybody to get back to sleep.

You're thinking this guy is nuts. He thinks his dogs are going to the moon. Well, I have proof. The other morning I crept down early and there, lying in the middle of the living room floor was a roughhewn piece of aluminum with a peculiar hole pattern.

It might have been a piece of the nose cowling of Amelia Earhart's airplane or, much more likely, it was part of my dogs' spaceship they forgot to clean up. My wife thought it might be the remnants of a cake pan she's been missing for years but the mongrels ran off with it before we could tell either way.

Doggone! I'm sure gonna miss those guys.