Most Sunday mornings I am on our local Native American land at a meeting. When the weather is nice, we sit outside in a circle, enjoying nature. The Rez is a beautiful place. Our meeting is held on school grounds so there is a building, a field and surrounding woods for miles. We see hawks and deer and dogs. Lots of dogs. We have had dogs wander into our circle and bask in the love. We have had a mama trailing puppies who stopped to nurse right in the middle of our circle. I think it’s pretty neat stuff.
This morning, I sat down on the damp grass and looked out across the mowed field to the edge of the forest. About 2 acres away from where I was sitting was a dog, a perfect looking Husky. Perfect coloring and tail, standing as if he was guarding something a little deeper in the clump of trees. I shifted my gaze and saw some movement. I couldn’t really make out what it was exactly that was moving so slightly. I squinted and strained but all I could make out was a reddish shape and a blondish shape. I stared for a few more minutes willing myself to be able to see what the shape was. I was trying to force my brain to make sense of what I was seeing.
So, my brain said it was a reddish dog having puppies and a blondish goat standing behind it. That didn’t make a whole lotta sense.I had never seen a wild goat on the Rez…then again, what do I know? The shapes started to move a bit more. This was after about 10 minutes of them moving but basically in place. I was concentrating so hard on trying to figure out what the heck was going on in this clump of trees with these animals I think I drooled a little. Thinkin is hard work sumtimes.
After about 20 minutes I could finally make out that it was two dogs…butt to butt…and the reddish one seemed to be pushing the blondish one…like the blondish one was facing up the hill and the reddish one was facing down the hill and the reddish one was backing up as the blondish one was moving forward…what????? This made even less sense than a dog giving birth with a goat in attendance as like a midwife type role…So, this is going on and the husky is just watching from the sidelines. Now, my first thought is Oh NO! These poor dogs have been tied together, maybe their back legs…maybe some mean kid did it or maybe the dogs found some handcuffs and were playing and accidentally handcuffed themselves together…I’ve seen that happen in cartoons…
My second thought was the husky was going to try to eat them because they were sick and dying or had been hit and crawled off to die….And as the two slowly disappeared into the woods, the husky followed and I sat there and thinking about the circle of life, of what I know about dogs, about Emma and Spencer and their natural decline, about how a goat could survive in the wild or if there might be a goat gang living deep in the forest and how they might be harassing the homeless dogs. Goat gangs in Upstate NY…I haven’t heard that covered on NPR…
I saw some movement on the other side of the wooded clump and out trounced the reddish dog…up the hill and into the forest proper. More movement and there was the husky, butt to butt with the blondish dog pushing it up the hill. The husky took over for the reddish dog! About 10 minutes into it, the husky stood still, the blondish dog laid down and the husky went back into the clump. The blondish dog laid there, looking around, watching a big hawk fly over head.
I was stunned, I could not believe what I was seeing. I was so wrong in my assumption, in the story I was telling myself! The poor blondish dog needed help! Blondish dog was obviously old or sick or hurt. Reddish dog took the first shift, going butt to butt to help blondish dog though the small clump of trees and small hill. Then the husky took over and helped blondish dog up the steeper hill, butt to butt the same way the reddish dog had done. Poor poor blondish dog!!! But how lucky blondish dog was to have two such wonderful friends!!! What a heartwarming thing to observe. Nature, not being cruel or harsh, but being kind and gentle! So, as I sat there and marveled at the determination of the husky and reddish dog and grieved for the obviously sick blondish dog and wonder if maybe I was wrong about the goats being a mean gang and possibly being like nurses who could take care of poor blondish dog….the huskey came galloping out of the clump, and stoped next to blondish dog, Blondish dog got to his feet, huskey went ahead up the hill in a jog. Poor blondish dog…ditched by both of his friends. They were probably sick of pushing him up hills…blondish dog can’t count on anyone ever….blondish dog is probably crying, (I can’t tell because I am too far away, but I just have a feeling) WAIT! LOOK AT THIS!!!! Blondish dog is UP…blondish dog is trotting up the hill all on her own!!!!! Oh happy day!!! It’s a miracle!!!
No, it’s not a miracle. Blondish dog is a faker. Blondish dog is simply lazy and had manipulated his friends into butt pushing him through woods and up hills. Blondish dog is a total jerk!
Moral of the story: Never butt push someone up a hill who doesn’t absolutely need it.
Or maybe the moral is : Never assume to know the story from a distance.
Or possibly : Goat gangs exist.