I had some unexpected company today on my walk.  You know how you’re kind of meandering down the road, thinking about where you might go and what you might photograph…when suddenly…two half-way large dogs are barrelling toward you barking feisty with a gleam in their eyes and jumping all around.

Meet two of the neighbors.  Let's call them Brownie & Whitey.

Meet two of the neighbors. Let's call them Brownie & Whitey.

Not only do they leap up onto your rain pants, they also lick and nuzzle and prance.  Then they proceed to follow you wherever you go.

You, of course, are not sure you want the two dogs to accompany you.  At least not in the beginning.  You think they should stay in their own front lawn, thank you.  You have big plans to travel waaaaay up the ravine in the woods.  These plans do not include panting galloping dogs.

Meet Brownie.  Oh look at that face.

Meet Brownie. Oh look at that face.

You say sternly, “Sit!  Stay home!  Go home!” and wave your arms wildly in the direction of their little house, but they blithely ignore you.  So along they come, jumping and panting wildly and joyous to be exploring the woods.

The first time you try to take a picture of…say…a delicate wildflower…forget it!  One dog nuzzles and jars your camera. The other knocks your arm and almost sends you sprawling.  Guess it’s not a day for taking pics of wildflowers.  It’s a day for the dogs.

Awww, doesn't he look calm and obedient?  Don't be deceived!

Awww, doesn't he look calm and obedient? Don't be deceived!

You vary in between wishing they would just go home, please, and isn’t this a novel experience?  You point out interesting sights to them, but they leap into the pond and splash water in all directions.

Isn't Whitey having fun?

Isn't Whitey having fun?

We wandered for a good hour through the ravines (maybe those photos shall be posted tomorrow, including the elusive slug).  It was interesting.  The quieter I got, just meandering without much mental thought, the quieter the dogs became.  We all became reflective.  Enjoying the afternoon.  Happy that the rain ceased to fall.  Although, seriously, perhaps the dogs wouldn’t care two whits if it was raining or dry.

Brownie in a more reflective pose

Brownie in a more reflective pose

Do you wonder their “real” names?  It’s been so many years since we’ve had dogs.  Our first dog, actually our first “child”, was a black lab back in the late ’70’s.  It’s name was Buck, or Bucky, if you felt endeared to him.  He was a “chowder-head” like these two, galloping around with too-big feet, licking crazily, jumping up in all the wrong places.  Our second dog may have been half-coyote.  She was a brown and white beauty named Tasha who howled when the moon was full.  My grandma was so horrified by the thought of part-coyote lineage she suggested we get rid of Tasha when our baby was born.  We, of course, felt hurt by the mere suggestion of such indignity.  We were only in our 20’s.  Our kids better not have any half-coyotes around any future grandchildren. 

Whitey gnaws on a branch, just for fun

Whitey gnaws on a branch, just for fun

Back to today’s story.  I started up the road toward our house.  The dogs followed.  No, this behavior needed to stop, now.  I knocked on the neighbor’s door.  No answer.  Knocked again.  No answer.  The dogs were apparently coming home with me.

I must admit to getting a little bit grouchy at this point.  Dogs, go home!  NOW!  They jumped up and licked happily.  I decided to ignore them, in hopes they would turn around toward their own happy front yard. 

Eventually, Brownie did.  Sigh of relief.  But Whitey was coming home to live.  No turning that one around. 

I hatched up a brilliant plan upon arriving in the driveway.  The keys were in the car.  So I jumped in the car, turned around and sped back down the road.  Whitey ran in hot pursuit.  Until…finally…he ran out of steam and collapsed in the woods. 

I turned around and came home, smiling happily, thinking:  Ah ha!  What an outdoor adventure!  “This blog is going to the dogs…”

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