Rocky Drops His Apples

Footprints are very useful when you’re taking a new trail (ideally, a somewhat dusty trail), and you aren’t sure exactly where you’re going to end up. Footprints, landmarks and a compass. And dogs. I guess that’s always been my “GPS.” When I got new trail shoes of any kind I always made sure I knew what my own tracks looked like.

All of my dogs (and I) have enjoyed looking at animal tracks in dust and snow. Of course the dogs get more from it than I do as they get the enhancement of animal fragrances. Human olfactory receptors are, in the minds of dogs, pretty damned pitiful. But my superior eyesight and comparative height allow me to see the road ahead and who’s been on it. I’m not sure any of my dogs KNOW I choose our direction that way. They might think I’m following my nose.

The other evening Bear ran out the back door barking her very scary Livestock Guardian Dog Bark. It’s so rare that I had never heard it before. Teddy was right behind her. Apple trees all over town are heavy with fruit and it’s possible that there could be a bear in the alley. I went out the next morning to look for tracks. The alley dust was no longer ankle deep mud, but it was firm clay thanks to the snowpocalypse, so no tracks, but there was a distinctively chewed crabapple.

I suspect raccoons got too close to Bear’s fence. It was not to be born.

21 thoughts on “Rocky Drops His Apples

  1. Forty percent of a dog’s brain is hooked to his/her nose (or so I’ve read). Our boy is 15 and his hearing and eyesight are bad. But his nose is industrious and curious when we go wandering. It’s a marvel of which I’ve never tired. When his nose is in gear he’s still a puppy.

  2. It’s always safe to blame the raccoons! Interesting post as I never thought of recognizing what my own tracks would look like. If I were to get lost, that might come in handy to find my way back from wherever. Also – I am glad that Bear didn’t come upon a bear.

  3. Raccoons must be as bad as the Possums here. Always creating some sort of chaos. Knowing your shoe print is good 🙂 Thanks for joining in Martha

    • I think they might fill a similar niche in the natural world. We have possums, too, but they don’t have the beautiful fur yours do. I actually thought Bear might have been barking at a fox until I saw the apple. Raccoons are neat eaters. 🙂

  4. “very scary Livestock Guardian Dog Bark”

    Our Avery has a very special growl that hits all the panic notes and leaves you wondering where the dire wolf was that made that sound. She’s only used it once and it was on a rattlesnake she was warning me away from.

  5. Don’t you wish we had an app – sort of like the bird call/song apps – that interpreted their various barks and growls so we knew exactly what they were protecting us from?

    • I do. Lately I’ve heard a lot of “I’m bored. I want to go for a walk. Until that happens, I shall bark for my own amusement,” barking but the smoke is really bad. 😦

      • Oh, dear Bear — hang in there, and the smoke will go away in a few days. I know you want to go for a walk, but you and Martha might both get sick if you breathe that nasty air coming from California’s fires. We saw blue sky in Southern California today, and the temperature was warmer but only temporarily!

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