Sunday, September 23, 2012

Dogs, the lake and hunting


So we hear that the city and county have decided to allow hunting around our lake. But take heart: they have decided to not allow rifles, only bow and shotgun! Phew! Of course, they are allowing it right up to the road, which I walk the dogs on all the way down to the public dock. But today I hear that it is being done because the state of Kansas is paying them to do it. The state is broke, and cutting back on education, health care, senior services and everything else, but it has money to pay localities to encourage hunting! There’s something completely incomprehensible about that.

So yesterday, I walk the dogs in the morning as usual. I hope that their color of tan is not too much like a deer, but it is early on Saturday, and quiet. Amazing. No sounds of gasoline engines from cars, boats, planes, or lawn mowers yet. The walk passes without incident. Well, almost without incident. Fry, as usual, is off doing his thing. Every once in a while he comes back to check. We find our way to the camping/picnic area, and run into a lady with two mini dachshunds. Dachshunds are small with short legs, mini dachshunds are smaller, and these two were chub-balls so their bellies almost touched the ground. She was pleased to know that the dog down by the lake (Fry) was mine; Yonkel, she noted approvingly, stayed by me.

On the way back, though, in the woods around which the first housing road circles, Fry spied something and charged in. Yonkel, weighing prudence against excitement, hesitated a couple of moments and then followed. Not to be heard from for quite a while. I came home dog-less. After maybe 45 minutes I went out in the car, down to the public dock, and then back on that first road. There is Yonkel. He gladly gets in as I open the back of the car. A little farther on is Fry. He won’t get in, but is willing to trot alongside the car. I get tired of going so slowly, so leave him. He is back after another 45 minutes or so. OK.

This morning, we went out a little later, after 9:30am. By 10, they were both gone again, in the same woods, and I had kept walking and realized that they were not coming, so I headed home. They weren’t there. I sat down, worked for a while, worried about hunters. After about 45 minutes I went out in the car and re-drove yesterday’s routes. No luck. No dogs. No sound. Drove some more. Came back home. No dogs. Worked some more.

About 11:40, I get a call. One of my dogs had been stuck in the water and couldn’t get out, but this woman’s husband and another man pulled him out. Wow, am I grateful! I was wondering why at least Yonkel hadn’t returned! I quickly drive over there, to the first road. No dogs, but the two very nice men who had pulled them out are there; they say the one fell off the dock, they guessed. They have just headed off, generally in the direction of my house. I thank them and head home. No dogs. No dogs for a long time. I go back out and drive.

I go back to the same place, and the same two guys are still there. I just missed them, they say, they had headed out in the other direction. The older guy who lives there had heard the barking, and thought it was across the inlet at the picnic area. Then he looked down and saw the dog stuck in the water. It’s hard for him (the man) to get down the hill, so this other guy helps (not so young himself). He says that the other dog was sitting on the dock watching. I choose to believe that Fry was loyally staying by his friend. The one he had gotten in trouble in the first place.

I figure NOW they must be headed home; I can’t believe that at least Yonkel hasn’t had enough. But I go the other way to the public dock first to make sure, then come home. No dogs.

Finally, as the clock chimes 1pm, there is a scratching at the door, and there is a very wet Yonkel outside. Too wet, in fact, for this to have been from that episode over almost 2 hours ago. Incredibly, he must have been back in the water! How dumb can he get?

So I towel him down before bringing him in and putting him by the space heater, where he starts on the long process of licking himself off.  Now he is asleep. And still no sign of Fry yet. I figure he’ll get hungry after a while. In 2 or 3 hours. Oh, here he is! Couldn’t actually post the piece until he showed up (1:30)

And I was worried about them getting shot! They can get themselves into enough trouble without help!