Friday, November 14, 2008

A DAY WITH DOGS - AND A SNAKE LESSON

click on the pictures to enlarge Well, well, well; A rather dreary day has unfolded, dark and overcast and my little family is anticipating a run through the Fall leaves at the ruins. Why not? They are overdue for a run. Besides; everything is gloom and doom these days and the dogs always bring a smile to my face and cause a sense of enlightenment to my soul. My barber, a lady, told me she had breast cancer; my friend whom I have spoken of prior this entry is battling a serious cancer; my savings is dwindling away even as we speak and heaven knows what lies ahead. But my guys, here, take my mind off it all. I will take delivery of a new Esquif Champlain Kevlar canoe on Monday and the promise of new adventures will be fulfilled. The canoe is part of my attempt to be totally assimilated back into the fabric of the earth; to disappear and evaporate. So stay tuned. Canoe's are new to me and I'm sure there will be some interesting, if not desperate situation type stories. Tongue in cheek.................. As I write this, everyone is sniffing trees, turning over small logs or digging in mounds of fine, powdery dirt created by fire ants. They are just being dogs. And I am still amazed at the beauty of my golden boy Douglas. He is in such great form! He is broad and deep at the chest and narrow at his hips. His golden hair is shiny and his eyes are bright and all seeing. When running he flows over the yellow and red leaves that cover the ground and leaps over fallen tree trunks in an easy, effortless way. He can instantly turn left or right on a whim and power strait up a fifty foot embankment in an instant, turn in a flash and blast back down full throttle and remain in total control. He is a master of his environment. I'm proud of him.... Douglas appears to throw caution to the wind when running full out. He is the wind! He is more nature than any human will ever be. He is a child of nature. Nature's boy. And someday; when Mother Nature calls her son home to be with her; I will be devastated. He is on loan to me. I know that. From the day our lives became entwined; I knew it would only be a temporary loan. But oh; what a loan! It is a loan that I don't mind making payments on. Keeping him fit and safe and seeing to his well being is a pleasure and a privilage. And when the loan is paid; I will be left with an enhanced life full of joyfull memories. So, dear golden boy; roll in the leaves and bask in nature's wooded pleasures. We have years ahead to enjoy endless adventures together. I love you boy. I have always been fearful of Douglas running into a poisonous snake while in the wood. We would probably be too far out to get help in a timely fashion. The opportunity to train him to leave snakes alone has never presented itself. That is until today. The kids ran across a black snake this afternoon. The warmer than usual day must have tempted the snake out of its crevice and into the warmth. I'm glad the snake was harmless. But it appeared formidable and I was curious what the dogs would do. Each dog approached the snake with extreme caution. They tested the air carefully, while circling the snake. No dog acted foolishly. Actually I have never seen any of them show such caution and respect. They didn't bark and they moved slowly and with care not to make a sound. Their eyes never left the snake. I was releaved to see the dogs act this way. It would mean that if any of them would come upon a rattle snake or copperhead, they would exercise caution. I noticed that the snake's head would follow Douglas everywhere he would move. Douglas would try to side step around the snake to avoid the snake's total attention. The snake had keyed in on Douglas and locked his eyes onto Douglas's eyes. With animals; it's all about the eye contact. There is so much transmitted through their eyes. Douglas in particular displayed caution. He sat and studied the snake. He tried to figure out what it was and if it was dangerous. Not through thought process of course. But through the intelligence he inherited from his forefathers. He is canine and has a proud lineage. I carefully picked up the snake and placed it gently in a safe place where it could slither away to safety. Anytime I have the guys out in the forest; snakes are in the forefront of my mind. From the second the boat touches the shore or the moment I step from the truck; I think snakes and my eyes wander about the area. I always look ahead of the dogs when we walk, especially in forest that are not visited by humans frequently. It's a habit. They're my kids after all. Till next time...........