I sat pouting and alone in the first meadow. That changed when I saw a deer run out of the woods on my right, cross the meadow at top speed, then go into the woods on my left. A moment later, I heard the dogs bark. It pissed me off, but there wasn't a thing I could do to get those dogs away from the deer. So I was pouting, alone and pissed off when I saw the first dog run across the meadow.
It was the Afghan, head up and silent. Afghans hunt by sight, I knew that much. The other dogs hunted by scent, and they appeared soon after, noses to the ground when they weren't barking. What a racket they made! And I thought I felt low before! I couldn't even sit quietly and feel sorry for myself. Now I had to worry about the deer.
I walked back to the dome and asked Diane if she'd seen her dog lately. She hadn't. Hers was the Afghan. She had a toy poodle as well, but it didn't count. That little bundle of neuroses rarely left her side. Neither the Afghan nor the poodle were well-trained.
An Irish setter named Blue was in the barking pack. He was Larry's dog. He was a beautiful dog--they all were--but his particular drawback was a twitch in one front leg, a left-over from a puppy-hood disease. Plus Irish setters in general weren't very bright. And he wasn't well-trained.
Vicki's dog, Tripper, was in the pack, too. He was a Weimaraner, a "ghost dog" because he was pewter-colored and had yellow eyes. He still had a very loud bark. All these beautiful dogs were running the wildlife off our property. This one was not well-trained either.
Muscling along with all of them was Doofus, Winnie's dog, a short-hair Golden Lab mix. His owner used to throw rocks for Doofus to catch. I once saw Winnie heave a log a few feet away and say "Get it, Doof!" That dog worried the log for three days, chewing on it with gusto. He was not well-trained.
One evening the topic of dogs versus wildlife was the subject of a council meeting. The majority felt we'd moved to a lovely piece of land in the Rockies to see wildlife, not to have it chased hither and yon by a few dogs. Still, it was a very emotional council. I could understand not wanting to get rid of ones' dog, but I voted with the majority, who made the best sense.
It took a while, but soon enough our place was dog-free.
Diane left the commune with her Afghan and poodle, never to be seen there again. She left for other reasons than her dogs, but I didn't think that council helped.
Larry and Vicki both found good suburban households for their dogs, Blue and Tripper. I'm not sure how they found them, but they said they were satisfied and their dogs would be happy. Both new homes had big yards and new owners who passed some mysterious test that proved they'd take good care of their pets.
Winnie was proud to say Doofus would finally be a real junkyard dog. Doofus held duty as a nighttime watch dog and was surrounded with all the inedible stuff he liked to chew on. The owner of the junkyard was happy, Winnie was happy and Doof was happy.
Pretty soon, sightings of deer and other wildlife, even a bobcat and more, increased and everyone was glad. The human hunters seemed especially glad. Nobody complained about the venison we got to eat.
Only one hunter, Mark, was not well-trained. He jumped out of a moving pickup truck to shoot at deer on someone else's property, and during compound crossbow season at that. There was a compound crossbow hunter who had a deer almost in the bag, and he came out of the woods to tell us in no uncertain words. We drove away as soon as Mark was back in the truck. Tch.