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Things Seen While Running

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

That last post was a hogchoker. I should have split it in two, saved a little for Tuesday, but I guess it all had to come out right then. Blogging can be like a conversation with a friend when you keep thinking of things to say, when it's hard to hang up.

It's the first day of hunting season, gray and mild as luck would have it, and I can't take Chet Baker out for a morning run for several reasons. Stray bullets, for one. Boom. Boom boom. Alarmingly close. His ever-increasing apprehension at booms, for another. We went for a five-mile run yesterday afternoon, which was sort of a mistake. It was the evening before hunting season started, and there was a steady stream of speeding pickup trucks hurtling by us. They were all provisioning, getting settled in their digs, sighting in their rifles. Boom, boom, boom. Only four slowed down at all when they saw a woman with an unleashed dog on the road. As someone who spends between one and four hours a day, defenseless, out on these country roads, I don't understand people who won't slow down for pedestrians and animals. What in your life is so important that you can't do that?

But I digress. As night neared the booms got more and more frequent and Chet just lined out ahead of me. I kept calling to him to wait, and he would stop, one paw lifted, for a second or two, then he'd set off running again. He wanted to go HOME and HOME NOW. He was like a horse that smelled the barn, ears laid back, bit in his teeth. When we got to my car he boinged and boinged as if the door would magically open without me in there. Poor little buddy. The older he gets the less he appreciates booms.

This morning, while the fusillade rings, I have him buried deep in his bed with blankies piled over his ears. He's not going out. (But then we DID go out during the midday lull, and it was fine, only two distant shots. Except that he got very muddy and needed a hot bath upon our return.)

Yes. I am muddy, but I have brought this old ball all the way up the driveway. That is muddy work.

I actually like the idea of a hot bath in the morning. That will be fine. I will go straight to the tub when we go inside. I have leafbits stuck to the slobbers in the corners of my jowls. Please take care of those when you do my hair?

It was warm enough that Liam, who didn't have school today, came with me and shed his flame-orange shirt while we rested at the cemetery. It was only 52, but that feels warm when you're all heated up from climbing these dadburn hills.

On our run last evening, we met a little Jack Russell terrier we had never met before. 

Chet got all tall and stiff and his tail stuck straight out as the little dog tried to make friends.

He was eerily silent and still, which confused the JRT and sent him running to hide behind my legs. Here you see the T posture, with Chet at right angles to the JRT. That's a dominance move on Chet's part. You can see the uncertainty in the set of the JRT's ears, the worried look in his eyes. Chet's all bristly and bossy.

Chet raised the hair on his back and loomed over the little dog. He stared into the terrier's eyes until the JRT looked away. He snarled up against the smaller dog's shoulder a couple of times, too, earning a loud rebuke from me. He's just not nice to strange dogs. Even though he seemed to have the JRT completely bamboozled, the last thing I wanted him to do was to press an attack. Because JRT's are tough little customers, and it wouldn't be pretty for either one of them. He was a perfectly nice little dog, met with arrogance by my old man.

How he can be the best possible dog around people and such a putz to other dogs, I don't know. Life with Chet Baker. I finally had to escort the JRT back to his yard. 

I wanted to tell you the nice thing we saw last night.  In the last post, I'd found a deer carcass dumped by the roadside, and I said, "I hope it will be a nice feast for coyotes or foxes, or even hawks and owls." Well, when I got there, I saw that the ribcage had been very neatly picked as with fine tweezers. Nothing was chewed. The meat was just removed. And I knew the surgical beak of a hawk or an owl had been applied to the carcass, and I was happy. Then, amazingly, my eye caught big wings coming through the trees, and a red-tailed hawk alit in the gloaming on a tree right over the carcass. I raised my tiny running binoculars and caught that belly band, that tail, that hooded head. And I knew who had been feeding there. When she saw me she flew, acting as if she hadn't intended to take her dinner there. I felt bad, but that's how it goes for us two-legged animals. They see you, they leave, no matter how much you love them. So I took the plastic bags full of scraps and emptied them next to the carcass. There was some lovely meat in there. I got deer blood on my hands, but I was glad to give her something good for the morning. Then Chet and I ran home.


Please use a leash during hunting season. I lost my beautiful Dakota to a neighbor who didn't slow down. We were going over to the lake and Dakota took a wrong turn. Wouldn't want that to happen to our beloved Chetster.

I have always hoped CB and Mac & MB could meet and become best friends, but somehow, I think the testosterone battle might be more than you or I would want to deal with, although both corgis have been around a lot of other dogs. Maybe they could become FB friends to share and compare their experiences as country dogs in southeastern OH.

We're in lockdown mode at our house now, too. Too many BOOM, BOOM,BOOMS about. If someone takes out our farm stag who's been around for 15 years, we'll be on their trail, that's for sure.

Thank you for the lovely commentary on what the beginnings of an aggressive encounter look like. That stiffness, still or jerky wagging tail, hackles up and stare are all dead giveaways that your dog is talking sass to the other dog.

I hope your audience passes this information along!

I have an putz dog, too. Management works wonders - as in, "Okay, that's enough now, let's go!" Too many humans think that all dogs should be friends. That'd be great if the dogs thought so too!

Friends are forever. They are necessary to share our feelings. Do you agree with me that there are many types of friends.

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Maybe a leash for him while he's near the road?
After all, cars can only go on the road, but you and your pup have lots of room to roam!
But I too would hope they would respectfully slow down.

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