Monday, February 11, 2008

Everybody Knew Ya Didn't Give No Lip To Big John.

(Big John, Big John) Big Bad John
-song lyrics to Big John

While we were in Denver the other week we took the dogs to Bible Park for their walks a couple of times. We usually take them to the dog area of Cherry Creek State Park but after a big snow storm it is easier to get them to Bible. Plus after a storm Bible Park is mostly deserted and we can let the dogs run off leash.

The first time we took them to the park was the morning after the storm had hit and we had that blanket of white all to ourselves. We started walking on the trail east of the parking lot with Duke a little bit ahead of us sniffing around in the weeds near the creek that runs though the park. I was watching him when something farther ahead caught my eye. It was a coyote loping along in a northerly direction near the tennis courts. I was hoping Duke would not see him because I knew he would be very interested in him. Duke did see him and tensed up. The coyote stopped and both animals gazed at each other intently for a few seconds and then Duke took off running. The coyote watched Duke come at him and then whirled around and started south, following the path that led to the tennis courts, as Duke pounded after him. When the coyote got to the open space between the tennis courts and the creek he disappeared into the tall grass. Duke no longer seeing him stopped at the edge of the fence surrounding the courts and stared at where the coyote had vanished. Then he turned away and trotted back to us.

(A little information about Bible Park. It sits in a bowl with the Highline Canal looping around the rim of the bowl on the west, south and east sides of the park. On the east and south side of the park the canal runs next to streets. On the west side it runs behind the backyards of neighborhood houses. Next to the canal is a wide dirt walking path and down in the bowl a path of asphalt meanders though the park, mostly parallel with the canal dirt path. )

Later that same day my husband took Duke back to the park for another run and when they got back to my sister's house after it he told me this story. When he first got to the park he again started by walking on the asphalt path on the east side of the park heading south. He walked around to the west side while Duke raced around in the open areas and up on the canal path. At one point he noticed Duke on point up ahead near the canal so he climb up to see what Duke had found. When he got up there he saw four coyotes on the other side of the canal behind one of the houses about thirty yards away. The coyotes were looking at Duke and when my husband appeared they turned and started to walk away. This is when Duke did something stupid.

(A little information about Duke. When we first got him it was some time before we heard him bark and when he finally did we were so surprised by the sound of it we looked around to see if another dog was in the area. Kate has your basic adult dog deep resonate "WOOF!" when she barks but what came out of Duke was a puppy like "Arff!" which made us laugh. The good thing about his bark is when we hear one of the dogs barking we can always tell which one it is.)

So, as the coyotes turned away Duke, probably feeling very brave after chasing one coyote away already, let out an "Arff!" The coyotes stopped and looked back at Duke in surprise. The biggest one took a step toward Duke and before he could take a second step Duke bolted toward my husband and hid behind him. The coyotes then continue on their way.

Big Bad Duke.

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