Ray was full of beans. Not literally, figuratively. Gregg and I were standing on the patio watching as the dog single-mindedly tried to dig his way through a patch of pachysandra. It was a small patch, maybe 2 x 5 feet situated right next to a low brick wall. By the time Ray was through, it was noticeably smaller. He would dig, grab some of the spaghetti-like vines in his mouth and tuuuug them to get them out of the way, then dig some more. The pachysandra was being obstinate and the dog didn't like the taste of the vegetation in his mouth (maybe he has Lachanophobia) but he was determined to get through it to the earth below. Gregg and I never did find out why. Because in the middle of all the digging, Ray discovered the ground-based hive for the carpenter bees (if you don't know - carpenter bees are BIG bees).
The hive wasn't in the pachysandra, it was a couple feet away, separated from the patch of green by a brick path and in the ground abutting a support beam for the pergola (or as Gregg calls it, the argola - half arbor, half pergola). Ray positioned himself just above the hole-in-the-ground, ears ultra-deployed in Dumbo mode, brow furrowed with the exertion of trying to figure out the logistics of the hive.
Bees were coming and going right under Ray's nose. He would toss his head and open his mouth trying to catch the buzzers as they flew by.
Gregg and I retreated inside.
"Hey Gregg, do carpenter bees* sting?" I asked my all-knowing husband while envisioning a rush to the emergency vet clinic.
Gregg retreated to do a quick search on wikipedia which revealed that the males do not, but the females will, if provoked.
Just then Ray rushed by the glass door of the kitchen and into the grassy area of the backyard. I looked out the window and saw a battle royal going on between my dog and one, lone, carpenter bee. Ray was being dive bombed. The bee would zoom in at Ray's head, then away, then in again. Ray was trying to avoid the bee while at the same time trying to catch it.
I stuck my head out the door, "RAY, COME." I yelled at the big dummy.
Ray, still engaged in battle, ignored me.
"RAY, komen sie hier! Viens a moi, Ray!" Nothing. It was a battle to the death.
I went outside, grabbed Goliath by the collar, and pursued by David, dragged the dog inside, slamming the door, and then the dog door, shut behind us.
This morning, first thing, Ray was back at the hive. I was on the couch enjoying my morning cup of coffee when I saw him run past the sliding glass door, again pursued by a bee (probably the same one).
I slapped my cuppa joe onto the end table and rushed outside, grabbed Ray, and dragged the struggling dog in.
But something was seriously amiss. The sound of angry bee filled the kitchen. Ray was flailing around trying to find his nemesis. I looked but didn't see the bee. Ray came toward me, nose to the ground. I went to the door of the kitchen and looked back so that I could see the entire room at once. Nothing. Ray followed me. The sound did too. I looked to see if maybe the bee was attached to him but didn't see anything. I entered the hallway. Ray excitedly followed me. The sound did too.
The awful truth dawned. The bee was in my clothes somewhere.
In less time than it takes to tell, I stripped off my jammies and sweatshirt, and naked except for my t-shirt, ran for the stairs. Ray was in full-on treeing mode, yelling at the pile of clothes I'd left on the floor.
Maniacally laughing, I ran upstairs, threw on some jeans and a heavier sweatshirt, and returned to the fray. The sound of ANGRY bee filled the air. Ray was laying on the floor in the living room with his head jammed under an end table. As I went over to retrieve my dog, the bee flew out and over to the front door, pinging against the glass storm door trying to exit. Ray followed. I snagged him by the collar and opened the door a crack for the bee to escape.
Animals make our lives so much more interesting.
*turns out they were bumblebees. Bumblebees sting when provoked.