And again I didn’t take a picture when I had the chance…

I have some new occasional neighbors, much closer than I’m really comfortable with, right on the next parcel so maybe five or six hundred yards away from the Lair. Not really happy about that, but I guess it is what it is.

They’re a nice young townie couple from somewhere down in the city many hours from here. They’ve shown up to camp several times in the past few months and they’re talking about building here. They’re quiet and polite so far and I feel bad about myself for wishing something would happen unpleasant enough to drive them away without harming them. Ironic as hell that if they really do build here I’ll sort of be obligated to help.

So anyway, when an obviously townie dog* showed up in the Lair’s yard this morning I immediately had a pretty good idea where he came from. Castrated male, far too friendly and well-fed to be a stray – he wasn’t even thirsty. Had a harness and an urban vet tag from nowhere around here, but no name and phone number – which, pro-tip, if you’re going to let your dog run in unfamiliar rural country you definitely want to tag it with your name and phone number. I don’t recall the breed, one of those parti-colored stocky things that’s not a pitbull or a bulldog. Not the least bit skittish around strangers, this dog was not from around here.

To answer the obvious question, no. I do kind of expect the new Official TUAK Dog to land in my lap in this or a similar way, because needed things tend to do that. But I never more than momentarily toyed with the notion that this was that dog. He far too obviously belonged with somebody else – and I suspected that those people would be getting frantic soon.

So after he’d hung around the yard for half an hour with no apparent plans to go home on his own I put my boots on, loaded him into the Jeep, and drove him up the ridge to the new folks’ camp. Sure enough they were mounting a big expedition to go hopelessly look for their dog, who had wandered off without their noticing so they didn’t know which direction he’d gone, and they were quite happy to see him in the back of the Jeep.

So that’s my good deed for the day, I guess.


*Parenthetically, the fact that I immediately categorized this as a “townie” dog probably means I’ve lived in the desert long enough to say I’m comfortable here. A desert dog would have at least been wary of strange surroundings. This one was clearly on a Grand Adventure. They don’t always survive that.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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13 Responses to And again I didn’t take a picture when I had the chance…

  1. Kentucky says:

    Well, if you kindly pointed out to them that their friendly little dog is merely coyote bait perhaps they’ll do more to keep him safely at home.

  2. Joel says:

    They did express an intention to keep him tied up.

  3. Adnrew says:

    Maybe pointing out all the fun parts of life in the great outdoors, like cattle having more rights than them, the water that could be used as a building product due to all the dissolved minerals, the snakes, coyotes, packrats (city folk tend not to like rodents..) and other assorted monstrosities and issues, you might convince them that ‘townie’ life is for them.

    On the other hand, maybe you’ll find some decent-minded people. Who knows, can happen.

    Be funny if they moved out there because they read a blog by a funny hermit guy who made life out in the boonies sound interesting.

  4. coloradohermit says:

    You might also mention the rules of the west about cowboys shooting dogs who happen to chase their cattle. I’ll bet that townies would never think of that one.

  5. Tennessee Budd says:

    Just to let you know, Uncle Joel, a “pitbull” is, precisely, a “bulldog”. That’s where bulldogs got the name. and that’s what they look like. The “English bulldog”, that bracycephalic aborton, was (mis)bred later. They couldn’t live half a minute around a bull that knew the dog was there.
    Back when words had meaning, when somebody said “bulldog”, they meant what we’d call a pit these days–like “Pete” from the old Our Gang comedies, as one example. We in the South tend to still mean that type of dog.
    Not bitching, just offering some clarification. I happened to look into the history when I owned an APBT. I had him from early puppyhood until his death 15 years later–and 15 is pretty damned old for a bulldog. Cerberus (I named him before I knew he was a big friendly brick) was a damned good dog.

  6. Joel says:

    TB, it’s my understanding that American Pit Bull Terriers and American Bulldogs are similar but different breeds – and that there’s a third breed, also similar but different, whose name I can’t remember but that third one was the one I chauffeured to his people this morning.

    But I do have very little close experience with any of them, so we might be saying the same thing in different ways. I really don’t know.

  7. Andrew says:

    Staffordshire Bull Terrier is the breed I think you’re looking for. Owners get very snooty over having their Staffords called ‘pitbulls.’

  8. Joel says:

    That sounds about right.

  9. Ruth says:

    I….just….ugh. Dogs allowed to wander hits a major peeve of mine (“but he always stays within sight of us, he’s a GOOD dog!!!”). Glad to hear that they’re considering tying him up. It’s probably worth the comment about cattle chasing dogs pointed out above, its not one that city folks tend to think of. On the other hand, having the dog get shot for chasing a cow might just work to keep them from building there, bit hard on the dog though.

  10. Joel says:

    I can’t judge. Ghost was never tied up, and though he usually stayed near the cabin in general he went where he wanted. I was aware of the danger of that, but the alternative was a permanently resentful and unhappy dog.

    Little Bear started marauding young and went on a tie-out young, but still over the years he broke his cable or just psyched me out a few times, and I tried not to beat myself up over it. I’m not going to condemn these folks because a normally well-behaved dog went off to chase something shiny. They do that, and always when you least expect it.

  11. Spud says:

    You can always tell a city dog which has never known freedom. They most usually will run off, given the chance especially a male.
    On the other hand , a country dog has likely been free their whole life. No need to run anywhere cuz they know where the food comes from.
    We’ve always much preferred females, they tend to be home bodies and rarely stray. Unlike a male which will travel clear across the valley, if they smell a bitch in heat.
    My own opinion, a dog which must be tied up is useless.

  12. Ruth says:

    If the dog ACTUALLY stays close that’s fine. But there is a mentality that “oh, he’s well trained, he’ll stay close by” without actually making sure that the dog actually does. Here’s hoping your new neighbors actually learned their lesson.

  13. Joel says:

    Yes, and then there’s the problem that nice townie dogs want to be friends with the critters they meet while they’re out on their grand adventures. With rattlesnakes that never ends well.

    Of course these folks do live in rattlesnake country, but I doubt their dog actually gets out and around by himself very often. It wasn’t good to let this guy wander, I do agree.

To the stake with the heretic!