i can’t do it anymore because it’s been established that Cashew will chew the outdoor extension cords stretching from the house to the fruit tree boxes if unsupervised but i used to just open the door and let the dogs out before climbing back in bed on my days off. They were used to waking up at 2:30 am on weekdays and during my two days off Cashew would start thrashing around in her crate near 5 am and running noisily in circles until i woke up and let her out. I would just open the door and go back to sleep until around 8. I just wanted sleep. My god, why couldn’t this dog understand the concept of our schedule…complete with two irregular days where i was allowed to sleep in until the time when normal people woke for work? On one such morning i had zombie-walked to the crate and then the door and released both dogs into the wilderness, eager to return to my much awaited and anticipated slumber. It was a peaceful and warm rest. When i awoke i heard the sound of rain falling softly on the tin roof. It wasn’t pouring but it was a steady noise. I looked outside and to my surprise the dogs were not sheltered on the porch under the roof. They were nowhere to be seen. I whistled for them and suddenly they emerged from the trees. Sili was drier than Cashew. She was damp but not soaked. Cashew’s fur was dripping. There was mud from her paws to her elbows on each foot. She looked somewhat like a swamp monster. I didn’t have a dog towel in the house. They were all in the shed. If i went to get one it would get wet on the walk from the shed back to the house. I sighed. Then an idea popped into my head. It was only 51 degrees out but with the rain both dogs looked cold. I plugged the space heater in and turned it up to “high”. I let the dogs in. Then i quickly zipped myself back into my mosquito net tent around the bed. With me out of reach both dogs sauntered back over to where the heater had been placed. They stood or laid in front of it continuously all morning and licked the mud from their fur. Cashew used the heater coils kind of like a hair dryer. When she was finished she was very fluffy!