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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Pepper's First Elk

Pepper, glowing in the evening sun
The Colville Animal Shelter didn't know much of anything about Sgt. Pepper's past when he was brought in. He'd been lost. Someone found him and brought him in. That's about it.

Lori, our obedience trainer, thinks he'd probably had some gun dog training based on his response to commands, but we don't really know. A previous owner might have used him on birds, though he has an affinity for digging at ground squirrel holes. And if he'd been a hunting dog, he might have seen some large game. But he surely did this evening.

Karen and I started him up the driveway on a long lead, and let him wander through the back meadow. When we turned the first curve, Karen looked back and saw two of our remaining cats doing a slow walk up the driveway. She wasn't about to lose them to an opportunistic coyote, so she turned back with them. Pepper and I kept walking up the trail, his orange and white coat gleaming in the western sun, the wind blowing his ears as it does when he's riding in the car.
Loving the wind in his hair

We went down by the old barn, then up to the house site and back down the driveway. On our way down, we heard a crash in the woods to our left. Pepper stopped and struck a pose with his legs back and balanced. I figured it was a broken tree branch. But, then I looked back up the road and saw a large, beautiful cow elk crossing up toward our new house site. Pepper look at her with intense interest, but didn't lunge toward her. I told him, "Wait," not wanting to throw an "Out" command at Pepper unless necessary - he'd already hit two "Out" commands on our walk, and had done them well.

 Karen and the two cats were in the front yard, sitting on benches, when we got back. Pepper, on a long lead, dashed into the creek, popping out wet, muddy, shaking off water, and happy. It was a good evening.

1 comment:

  1. Everything sounds great! I love the photo of Pepper through the mirror catching some wind, he really is a wonderful dog!