Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Unexpected

Unexpected things make life interesting. Some surprises are better than others, of course, but here's three that I've had this week.

Look in the direction Maya is pointing and you can make out two small
deer standing near the tall, dry grass. 
I was out with just Maya and Max the other day because I was trying Max with an EasyWalk harness and wanted to see how much he would pull with it.

It was late in the afternoon and we were walking along that narrow strip of mowed but taller grass that separates the soccer fields from the woods. We stopped and I looked towards the woods and saw two small deer, maybe 20 feet away, both frozen in place staring at us. They were wee deer, not even as tall as some of the dried grass that camouflaged them.

Here's a cropped version of the pic, making the deer easier
to spot. 
Maya saw them but didn't react because they didn't move. Max somehow didn't see them because Maya didn't give off an alert signal like she usually does. They stared at us staring at them, and everyone froze long enough for me to snap a few pictures.

When Maya finally moved the deer turned and dashed away, along with at least one more that I hadn't seen before.

When Maya moved, the deer turned and took off. You can see the white tail on one of them.

Intact leash on the left, broken green leash on right.
The other unexpected event I had this week was an equipment failure. One of my leashes just broke. The metal had worn down enough that the clasp piece pulled through.

I had Max on the end of this leash when it happened. Fortunately, we were at home at the time. It broke just as we were leaving the house. Max wouldn't come to me, of course, so he didn't get to go on the walk. I eventually chased or lured him into the dog yard and I went off with Maya and Trooper instead.

This worries me though. If it had happened out on the trails, with Max or any other dog, I might have lost a dog, particularly if it had snapped when they were pulling hard after spotting deer. I've gone back to using my big rope leashes for now, but I wonder if I shouldn't have some sort of fail safe system in place. This will require some thought.

The other unexpected occurrence this week was a package I found on the front porch yesterday evening. UPS drops things there if they deliver when I'm not home. Fortunately our UPS driver likes shepherds and dogs generally, but if I'm home when he drives up I always go out to meet him so he doesn't have to leave his truck.

This package was an Amazon order, addressed to me. Although I need to place an Amazon order I hadn't done so yet so I wasn't sure what this was.

I opened it and discovered it was a gift from a friend and blog follower, in response to one of my recent posts about ending my hikes in the dark. It's a headlamp, essentially a flashlight mounted on a strap that you wear around your head for hands-free light when you need it.

It was a very thoughtful, unexpected, and delightful surprise and I look forward to using it.

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