Tuesday, November 22, 2011

FALCOR'S FIRST DAY ON THE JOB & AN OLD, OLD CEMETERY

click photos to enlarge
Falcor and I walked out the door of the house at 5:30AM today and jumped into the state truck to head to the lake.  This was his first day on the job as a state worker.  Neither of us knew what to expect from the other.  My state boat was in the shop getting the motor looked at as it wouldn't start two cold mornings ago.  That meant I would have to drive the truck from shoreline to boat ramps seeking out anglers fishing from dry land.  Actually, that would probably be beneficial to Falcor on his first outing.
Falcor laid on the seat with his front paws resting on my thigh and his muzzle in the crook of my right arm.  This is a strong sign that he and I are bonding very well.  The little guy has impeccable manners.  He is quiet and easy going.  It's hard to believe he is only 7 months old.  The trainer did a wonderful job bringing out his personality.  We arrived at Quarryville Boat Ramp after about an hour of driving.  A gravel road skirts the edge of shoreline that borders the boat ramp, and lays alongside a few acres of woods.  There is usually a fisherman or two fishing from that shoreline.  I was in luck.  One lone angler was sitting in a fold away chair beside his pickup truck drinking coffee and waiting for a fish to attack him.  I interviewed him and collected the data I needed and moved on around the peninsula.   I have never had the leash off Falcor to date and noticed how nice he just walked beside me, constantly looking up at me.  That's another good sign.  I reached down and removed the leash.  He walked beside me as if it were still attached.  Wonderful!
I found myself wishing he would move away a little bit and sniff at things and loosen up some.  I don't expect him to be a lap dog at all.  He can move about at will as long as it's within my eyesight.  I looked through the tree branches into the woods and saw a tomb stone.  Ah ha;  something to explore. 
What in the world is this place?  The cemetery is all grown up and the stones are toppled on many of the graves.  It appears that no one cares enough to even put the stones back in place.
This is a remarkable old cemetery.  Many of the stones date back to the 1700's and the majority are 1800 vintage.  Wonder what the story is here?  I don't have room on my plate for two investigations at this time.  Scona Lodge has all my attention but, I will get back to this cemetery.
Look at the dates on these stones.




It would be interesting to look up the genealogy for some of these people





Check out the date on the stone above.

We had to move on.  There were no more fishermen on the shoreline.  We would drive South to an accessible shoreline that was still in the area of my responsibility for the day.
Falcor was doing fine.  I am convinced he does not require a leash when we are in big country.  He stays with me at all times.  The leash would only be necessary when moving vehicles were present.  He's doing great!  Falcor has never been in the big outdoors.  His only introduction to the great outdoors was a yard.  The world is his to explore, and he is exploring it.  Nothing gets past his nose.  He will eventually be confronted by Great Herons, Gulls, Coots, Deer, Bear and unfortunately he will eventually meet up with Wild Boar..  But, he will be a much smarter dog when he meets the Boar.  He'll no doubt have that meeting at Calderwood Lake.  That's Wild Boar country.  The Chilhowee Lake shoreline opposite the Route 129 side of the lake is filled with Wild Boar also.  Perhaps the old Scona Lodge site will produce a Boar for him.  I will be there with him.  Not to worry.
Falcor has never seen a lake, let alone step into one.  He did for the first time today.  Falcor is indeed a water dog.  He did not swim, as that's a big step alone but, he almost was afloat retrieving a stick.  He's going to work out just fine.
At first, he tested the water.  He just walked out into it and stood there and stared at it.
Then he moved around a bit, getting used to the coolness of it and the new sensation of liquid surrounding his legs.
And then I threw the stick in.  He didn't give the water a thought.
All of a sudden he became really alive.  He made the discovery of how wonderful it is to be in water.  The amazing thing is that he brought the stick clear back to me and sat down and dropped it.
He was feeling joy and he was becoming full of himself, tossing the stick around and playing with it like the puppy he is.
Falcor was having the time of his life.  His education for the lakes and wilderness has begun.  He's done well on his first day,
In a day or two he will be on the Gheenoe motoring across Chilhowee Lake to the Scona Lodge site and, the big mountain country.  I guarantee he will be a tired little dog at the end of that day.
Falcor has proven he is up to the task.  He is young and I will not allow him to get into precarious situations. But, he needs challenged by things wild.  That's how he will learn.   He's a very smart little dog and learns quickly.  Already we have bonded very tightly.  He watches me intently and doesn't stray far.  He will range out further and further as he gets older but, that's fine as long as he responds to my calls to him.  I'll have to take him out alone for awhile as he will tend to follow the other dogs when in a pack.  I do not want that environment for him just yet.  I'll let the other dogs join us in a month or two.

Stay tuned in as another Scona Lodge site visit is scheduled this week if the weather cooperates.  Not sure it will at this point.