I clocked my dog at 32 MPH. She’s fast, fast enough to catch a deer, not that she would know what to do with it if she caught it. When the sun sets over the Bahos and the evening grows cool, she prods me enthusiastically coaxing me off the porch to race her down the drive on my ATV. What do you get when you cross a Newfoundland and a Springer Spaniel? A fast mutt with long black hair that won’t fetch.
Max, my Golden Retriever could care less, oh he gets excited about the race, but when she leaves him in the dust he lopes home disgruntled. We had both dogs shaved anticipating hot summer days; they’re naked with the exception of large tufts of hair on the tips of their tails. They look ridiculous and although we laugh, they are immune to humiliation, they turn passive aggressive instead; crapping where I’m sure to step, or littering the yard with old elk femurs and crusty deer hides, archaeological canine treasures they’ve excavated from the old hunting burial grounds. If they’re feeling really vindictive they’ll dig a hole in the garden, but this is seldom the case.
They are lucky dogs that live outside and roam free, their boundary’s self imposed. They prefer the company of man, and dream of warmer days when the spring run off subsides and the swollen river wanes into wadable shallows, it’s when lucky dogs get to frequent a familiar watering hole where goliath cotton woods loom, where willows and reeds caress the shore, and tranquil afternoons idle down stream like fallen leaves trapped in the current. It’s here lucky dogs frolic and wallow in they’re good fortune.