|The back yard|
When the dogs bark in the daytime, I hurry to the window and look out. There's always a good reason for the fuss they make, much as you want to strangle them when it's in the middle of the night. This morning I was treated to the sight of a white-tailed deer's back end bouncing away, along the front of the trees and then through them to the open field on the other side.
The trail you see in the snow, through the garden to the bush, is the dogs' main path. They have their territory, their routine sentry duty, as they guard the property and warn other animals not to enter. We worry about little Ducky the chihuahua though. He'd be a bite-sized morsel for a coyote or a fox, and although he's usually in the house, has taken to running all the way out to the road, alone, to do his "business" when he goes out. Should a hungry wild beast ever be encountered out there, Ducky wouldn't be coming back. That would be a heartbreaker.
He loves to run around out in the field though, like a "real" dog, so the only comfort would be that he had the freedom to enjoy a dog's life.