We live in a semi-rural area. Well, mostly rural. We have houses and running water, but no streetlights, fireplugs, police officers, or Britney Spears sightings. (One good olâ€™ boy at the local hardware store actually swears that “Britney Spears” is something a spaniel does during a duck hunt.)
Another thing we donâ€™t have is zoning restrictions. So even though we may look like a residential neighborhood from some angles, other angles will reveal that various folks have stocked their back yards with chickens, geese, sheep, goats, and donkeys. And theyâ€™re perfectly welcome to do so â€“ â€˜cause here along the Travis-Hays county line, a manâ€™s home is not only his castle, but his Little Reata. (Just hit Netflix and rent “Giant.”)
Here at Casa Ramrod, all we have in the back yard are dogs. Or at least, thatâ€™s all we intend to have. In practice, at one time or another, weâ€™ve also had squirrels, opossums, and armadillos (visually confirmed) as well as raccoons, bobcats, and skunks (otherwise confirmed). The occasional family of deer hops the fence. Plus, our veterinarianâ€™s bulletin board sports a few too-curious-for-their-own-good doggie photos that provide direct evidence of porcupines in the vicinity.
But all of thatâ€™s not enough animal life for one of ourÂ nearest neighbors, who has gone the aforementioned chickens-geese-sheep-goats-donkeys route. He has even expanded his own Little Reata by fencing off some of the utility-easement alley behind our properties. All of which is cool with us, by the way. The more fur and feathers, the merrier. (Or at least the furrier and featherier.)
Our dogs Lucy, Linus, and Tillie were cool with it too . . .
. . . until the day the emus showed up.