I was in Hitchcock Woods tonight about 7:45. I would have liked to have gotten in early, but I figure that some time is better than no time. I plodded along. I normally would let Buck off the leash, but as it was getting dark and I thought the last thing I needed is him going on an ‘adventure’ and trying to find my way outta there around midnight. However, despite my better judgement, I let him run. I was pushing along Wood Cut trail, which you access from Coker Springs and Buck was somewhere behind me when he quickly started to catch up. Then it happened: he started doing this run and jump thing. It was really bizarre to watch, as he looked like Pepe Le Pew meets Tigger. One minute he was bounding and jumping like Tigger, the next he had his nose buried in the leaves in ecstasy like Pepe Le Pew. I decided right then and there that his time off leash tonight had come to and end. Buck acquiesced and we continued our walk. Shortly down the trail, Buck is walking in front of me when he looked down and jumped back towards me. A snake (Eastern Rat Snake, I believe) was beside our trail. We walked slowly by, close enough that the snake could have jumped us if he desired. I imagine that at the end of a warm day, he was just glad the sun was setting. Further down the trail we went. As we looped back around, I saw what was no doubt the motivation for Buck’s odd behavior–Deer. I probably saw three separate Deer on the way back to the Jeep.
In thirty minutes, I saw my dog become possessed, a Rat snake and three Deer. Not bad for a short walk! As I was thinking about the walk on the drive home, the moon, full and bright, was hanging just above the landscape. So maybe it wasn’t the deer that drove Buck nuts!
P.S. The image for tonight’s post comes from the Blue Ridge Mountains area, just below Asheville, NC.