Dogs can't help close encounters with nature
Last updated 5/7/2017 at 11:37pm
As I peered up through the branches inside the canopy of my Blue Spruce tree, I almost jumped backward as I saw the body of a large feline perched high on a branch. For a second there I thought I was standing in my backyard looking up at a bobcat.
The sun had just come up and the dogs had bolted out the dog door onto the patio. As I wandered into the dining room, I noticed the big dog was especially upset and had finally settled on circling the base of the tree. Just the night before I had been telling my wife about the bobcat that had been spotted in the cornfield next to us last year. She had just heard a story about foxes being the suspected killer of a little dog in Amarillo.
So it was just a little surreal to see a great-big grey cat perched on that branch. But, even if it had been a bobcat, it wouldn’t have been the first run-in my pets had experienced with wildlife — it just would have been the first with a bobcat.
I had my dogs chase a bear through our yard once in Colorado. I only got a glimpse of something streaking past the window out in front of my dogs. I thought it was another dog and went out to see where he went. By the time I got to the bluff overlooking the river, that dog was crossing the river. Halfway across he stopped and stood on his hind legs looking back at me — not a dog and time for my dogs to go inside.
One night we were hosting foreign exchange students at our house, and my big yellow dog was outside when a pack of coyotes began to bark near the house. I could immediately tell they were coming in and coming in fast. So could the dog who came around the house growling about the time I hit the back porch in my underwear.
The dog and the lead coyote came together like a scene from Old Yeller. Comet gave as good as he got and when I hollered at the coyote, thank goodness the pack leader backed off and I didn’t have to watch them kill my dog.
You haven’t lived until you’ve spent half the night on the kitchen floor pulling porcupine quills out of the faces of your two dumb-butt dogs. When I finished, the kitchen looked like the scene of the Manson murders.
Just as bad as porcupines are skunks. Dogs just never learn that those furry little waddlers are going to win every time.
The worst skunk experience was the night my dog literally chased a skunk underneath my hammock one night on a camping trip. Yeah, that skunk got both me and the dog pretty darn good. After a week of camping we were both still pretty pungent.
Karl Terry writes for Clovis Media Inc. Contact him at: [email protected]