Last week, my wife and I took a short trip for a getaway. It seems like we have spent the last few months at home, mostly looking out over the lake and watching wildlife, except of course, when we are working in our home offices. Then we only glance out the window overlooking the lake and catch an occasional glimpse of wildlife.

For our short vacation, we stayed at a place, overlooking Table Rock lake and watched the local wildlife. When I think back at the choices we make for relaxation, they are not too different from what we do every day.

While we were gone, Jag, the terrier, was in charge of watching the place. Billy, the poodle, went to stay at my son’s house, since he cannot be trusted to not chase things into the timber and come back covered with mud and full of burrs. Billy was a good dog except for the day we were to return home.

When nobody was looking, he chased something into the woods and came back covered in mud and full of burrs. Rather than the warm shower to which he has become accustomed, he was sprayed off with the garden hose with cold water. He did not seem impressed.

Jag seemed to be doing a good job. Whenever my son came over to feed, water and check on him, he was nearby, patrolling the perimeter. He gave the impression he had everything under control.

When we returned home, we found out different. Driving down the driveway, I glanced toward the garden. A hen turkey was just ready to jump over the electric fence and attack my tender little vegetables. Looking across the yard, a deer was slowly approaching a new tree we planted about two weeks ago. It is the replacement for a crabapple tree the deer killed during the winter.

Pulling up to the house, I saw Jag in the rocking chair. He lifted his head long enough to acknowledge us and went back to guard duty with his eyes closed.

Slamming the door on the truck when we got out scared the turkey away from the garden and the deer away from the new tree. Eventually, Jag did get out of his rocking chair to greet us.

He seemed to be happy we were home. I imagine he was relieved to be done with the overwhelming responsibility of being in charge while we were gone.