Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Catching up

I’m finally getting my mailbox cleaned out and catching up on the news I missed while my computer was down. I’ve already introduced the new pup, so here is a little about his introduction to life around here.

Chigger is smart as a whip and learns fast. Now if I can just get him through the puppy stage before I kill him. He will tear up anything he can get hold of, and those puppy teeth are sharp as needles.

Chigger is his name (they get under your skin and irritate the hell out of you) and he has already been to the mountains just like a big dog, and has been hunting too. The first time I took him out I roaded Bear and Sadie up toward a trailhead for exercise. I had Chigger up in the cab with me, and when we got to the trailhead I let him out and walked around with him some. Pretty soon I felt the urge to use the outhouse. When I went inside and closed the door he panicked. Thought he had lost me. I could hear him raising heck, but he had sense enough to go back to the truck. When I finished my business and went outside I could see him down the hill, sitting next to the truck, and howling like a lost puppy. I called him, and he came to me on a dead run. He had found me, and he was happy as he could be. Then he sat down in front of me on his little butt, and I swear he called me every name in the book. I can’t remember ever being cussed out like that by a dog before. LOL.

The next time out was uneventful. I drove up to the Lovers Camp trailhead as I wanted to look at the new corrals that the Forest Service had built there just before the fire broke out, and to see if any sign of the fire could be seen from there. It couldn’t. There were about a dozen head of cows and calves in one of the corrals but no one around. I let the dogs run around some and ate lunch there, and just as I was getting ready to leave one of the rancher’s daughters drove up with a stock trailer to pick up the cows. These were the last of the bunch that had been grazing in Red Rock Valley right through the fire. She caught me up on the news of where the fire had burned, and said the cattle had no trouble staying away from it.

A few days later I took all the dogs up on the hill behind my house and set up a couple of calling stands. Nothing showed up but a few blue jays, and Chigger spent most of the time bugging the older dogs. A couple of days ago I took Bear and Chigger out and set up a stand close to home, behind a ranch just down the road. I had the video camera set up on a tripod, an electric caller a few yards out in front of me, and Bear tied to a tree just behind me. Chigger was either bugging Bear or laying under the folding stool I was perched on. Only a minute or so into the call, Bear came to his feet and started growling. He was telling me plainly that something had come in the back door. I swiveled around as best I could, and there was a coyote standing there looking at me. Kind of a poor looking coyote, and may have been a young one. No way I could swing the camera around to get him on video, and pretty soon Bear couldn’t stand it anymore and let out a roar. That ended it. The coyote put it in high gear and beat feet out of there. I turned Bear loose for a little run, and he was back in about 15 minutes or so with his tongue hanging out. Of course Chigger had no idea of what was going on, but he has plenty of time ahead of him to learn.

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