It's 6 a.m. We've been up since 5, Xena and me. I go downstairs, turn the porch light, take up the flashlight, tell Xena to "Stay", and go outside. I check the perimeter of the porch - the front yard, the area between the porch and the next door fence. I go into the back yard. I check out everything, inside and outside the fence.
All clear. Xena can come out and meet her immediate needs. But no walk until full light. It's hard on Xena. It's hard on me - anxiety producing. That first time I saw the skunk waddling down the back yard, in April, I thought is was cute. It's not cute anymore.