Lightning is a big chicken, there's just no two ways about.

Lightning is a big chicken, there's just no two ways about.

A string of fireworks, the spray from an aerosol can even the un-nerving late night call of our resident Screech Owl will have him slinking for cover. A clap of thunder or a distant gun shot and whether I'm in the house, in the bathroom or in the shower it's not long before a big white muzzle is planted firmly against my thigh.

Occasionally I use that to my advantage.

We have night creatures at the farm. Coyotes, owls, hawks buzzards and a couple of things that even the dogs won't leave the circle of light to chase. Normally when one of these intruders gets too close to the house and the dogs' barking won't remedy the situation I get Lightning staring in the front window with his, "you really need to come out here," look.

Other times I get the sudden clamor of noise when the two white dogs knock over bikes and other porch items as they explode off the porch in pursuit of some night stalker.

More often than not when this happens in the heat of the moment my commands to "get your b---s back to the house," go unheeded and it's a couple hours before they come dragging their muddy "crap they got away from us,' selves back to the house.

Last week when I was in one of my more bipolar moods and the two dogs charged off the porch to chase a pack of coyotes that had gotten to close to home, I resorted to modified version of a slap-in-the-face to bring some order back to the situation.

The dogs were already halfway across the section north of the house by the time I pulled the semi-auto off the rack just inside the door and put about eight quick rounds into a dead tree stump in the front yard.

Lightning was on the front porch with his head between my legs almost faster than I could return the gun to the rack.

Still rattled he looked up at me, "They've got guns now for cripes sake, whatever happened to this extended background check legislation anyway."

I gave him Senator Moran's number. I speak dog, but politics are beyond me.