THE WALKING TRAIL
It was a cool cloudy morning and I was preparing to visit old friends down in the Sabine River bottoms just south of Mineola, TX. Setting in the back-end of the pilot with hatch lid up, chewing on a sausage, egg and cheese sandwich, a ghostly white form moved by me and back into the darkness. It dawned on me; hmm, Big Dawg! I was also thinking, “Great!” as in, got an early morning jogger here to beat the crowd and he brought his horse with him, just great! Close to the last bite, I stepped out of the pilot only to see the dog again. There it was, paying special attention to my sausage, egg and cheese sandwich. I knew that look. This jus’ won’t work. Big Dawg wanted my last bite. Well, not going to happen.
I was thinking any minute the owner of this beast would show up and they would be on their way down the trail scaring all of God’s little creatures. Grabbing camera, tripod and backpack I took off with intention of getting the artist releases before the jogger and Big Dawg could break trail.
Big Dawg ambled out in front and down the trail about 20 yards. Hey You! I hollered, get back here! Stay behind the camera! Sure he would! Not!
I could hear the Pileated wood pecker and Red tailed hawk out ahead of us for a while and then both were quiet. Dog, who do you belong to, I would ask? He would look up and smile. Finally, after a couple miles walking through a clearing on the trail, Big Dawg stopped like he was listening, smelling or waiting on something to happen. I passed by and scratched him on the ear, said “come on Dawg”, we ain’t there yet.
Continuing toward the river I stopped and looked back. Big Dawg stood watching me. I called him a couple times, but no movement, not even a tail wag. I continued toward the river, alone.
Later in the day, other people along the trail said that they had seen the Big Dawg trotting back towards the trail head.
Sometimes we choose who we walk with and sometime they do the choosing. What is the point, you ask? Make sure your hiking partner is willing and capable to either bring food and water or to carry the photographic equipment. I was told later that ‘Dawg’ was a Great Pyrenees breed of dog.
My stories are not as eloquent as Tom Clancy , Louis L'Amour or even Clive Cussler but they happen to all of us. I write about mine. I don’t know how to put a spin on the story, it either happens or not.