Last night I woke up thinking I heard the coyotes howl. I listened to the stillness, like breathing, then the yips came again. But it was only Annie, our golden hound dog that reminded us of our Grandmother. She was chasing a coon or skunk, warning them to keep away from her territory. She protected the blue farmhouse and the surrounding gardens; the English rose garden, plump with fragrant apricot heads, bouncing and swaying on stalks of green with two inch thorns, like little soldiers ready to pierce a finger, an herb garden, packed with gray dusty sage, carpets of lemon thyme, herds of oregano used for fat circles of wreaths, lavenders, pink, French and English, and of course the two acres of vegetable garden. Annie had a small doghouse beneath the apple trees where she slept thru the day. At night she was a lone and valiant soldier ready for battle, but mostly given to chase. Listening until all was quiet, I laid back down, staring through the branches of the ancient blue spruce leaning against my window, to watch the full yellow moon on it’s wane, flickering and winking with each breath of cool, northern wind. It hypnotized me back to sleep.