The dogs are having entirely to much fun to worry about group status on this day.

The dogs are having entirely to much fun to worry about group status on this day.

Gambolling addicts

'Off-Leash' knows when its time to forget about the pack heirarchy.

As a companion animal, it is important that we dogs are able to read our human’s body language.

Since our people have drastically underestimated our ability to understand their language and have dumbed down their verbal communication with us to one-word commands and baby talk, interpreting human gestures and mannerisms is how canines figure it out. That is how this morning I knew something was up.

My Dude seemed unusually anxious to get going on our dog walk and didn’t head straight for the ridge like he usually does. Instead we went down the hill toward a truck that had stopped just off our property. When we reached said vehicle, a man emerged and greeted my human. I had never smelled him before but he seemed friendly enough. His own scent was mingled with that of canines. Always good to know you are dealing with a hominid that associates closely with dogs.

Moments later, the pup-perfumed dude opened up the canopy of his truck and two dogs burst forth. In an instant I found myself caught up in a rush of wagging, spinning and sniffing. I could feel the anxiety coming from both humans as they waited to see how we would respond. Would it be peaceably or an all out dog fight.

If we dogs are good at reading the body language of humans, we are even better at reading of our fellow species. Since we don’t have a tongue tactile enough to be able to enunciate, “Hello, my name is Fido and I come in peace.” we instead demonstrate our intentions with scent and mannerisms. The two pooches that had just poured out of the back of the pick up were indicating in no uncertain terms that they had no malicious intent and had romping on their mind.

Initially, my inclination was to establish myself as the alpha dog and maintain sovereignty over my domain. However, since we had met on neutral ground, and I had not actually cocked a leg here in some time, I decided to follow correct pack protocol and allow the social structure of our group to be determined at a latter date. Right now there was romping to do.

We headed toward the ridge and right off the bat, it was more than evident that I was going to have my paws full with these two mutts. Neo was a golden retriever like myself, but with a white face. Evidence of eight years of living maybe, but not an indicator of slowing down. Neo sniffed and ran with all the enthusiasm of a pup.

The other, bigger dog was Koda, a crazy pup with mismatched eyes, husky blood, and a penchant for playing and playing hard. I could hardly contain my excitement. Today I had new pack mates and a whole ridge to share with them.

Seems my Dude had similar intentions. He took on the role of tour guide, leading the new human — whom he referred to as Yves — to many of our favourite haunts. The coyote den, the cave, the petroglyphs, the viewpoints, and so many more, all visited and explained, at length, by my overly verbose person.

We dogs were given the freedom to follow our noses, which we did with relish. The scents lead us in all directions but rarely out of sight of our humans. And when we did stray, we would hear a whistle and bound back to them like the good dogs we knew they wanted us to be.

Eventually, the indefatigable Koda started to tire me out and I plunked myself down, panting, at the feet of my man as he told yet another of his stories. It was my first opportunity to read these men and try to determine what their relationship with each other was. Their mannerisms, their easy laughter and comfortable banter, spoke of the respect that comes with good pack protocol.

I was pleased to see that these two humans at least, were getting along. From what I have been gathering on the news, mankind can be quite territorial. Too many wanna-be alpha dogs always leads to a leg cocking match or worse.

Thankfully, that was no longer a concern here on the ridge now that I had established my undeniable authority over all in my pack.

Then, just I as I finished that thought, Koda pounced on me from behind and the good-natured wrestling began anew.

Just Posted

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

1914
It happened this week in 1914

June 6 -12: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Thursday, June 10, mentioned Grand Forks among two other COVID “hot spots” in B.C. Photo: Screenshot - YouTube COVID-19 BC Update, June 10, 2021
PHO Henry says West Kootenay city is a COVID ‘hot spot’ in B.C.

There are 11 cases of COVID-19 in the Grand Forks local health area, according the BC CDC

Supporters — and shoppers — lined up waiting at the Cranbrook Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Store on 8th Avenue South, waiting for the doors to open on the store's first day of operations since the pandemic forced its closure. (Photo courtesy Kate Fox)
CHCA Thrift Store re-opens in Cranbrook

After a closure of 15 months, due to the pandemic, the Cranbrook Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Store on 8th Avenue South has once again opened its doors for business.

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read