For as long as I've known Milton, he's had a love of boats.
While living out at Aleknagik, I remember looking out my window and watching Milton go by on the bow of someone else's boat. The first time it happened, I called Hunter at work to brace him for the possibility that Milton had been dognaped. He wasn't. He came back on the bow of a different boat minutes later.
Come to find out Milton liked to hitch boat rides to and from the other side river; presumably just for the thrill of a boat ride. He was never gone very long and looked happy as a clam bouncing by on the bows of the many little red Lunds that crossed the river.
He's a now fixture on the bows of our boats, as sure-footed as a mountain goat. The minute he jumps aboard he assumes his position with nose pointed into the wind. Unless it's raining. Milton hates getting wet and won't stay on the bow if there's a possibility that he'll get wet. He's a cupcake that way. He doesn't mind if it's rough on the water and he gets tossed around a bit, just so long as he doesn't get wet.
Of course, it's not all sunshine and roses up on the bow. There was the time Hunter dodged a moose that was standing in the middle of a river and hit the bank sending Milton tumbling head over tail off the boat and into a bush. That didn't stop him from bow riding. There was the time he spotted a porcupine on the bank and leaped off in chase. He later had to be held down while Hunter and a friend pulled quills from his nose because the vet wasn't in town.
Then there was this weekend. Milton and Hunter went fishing off the spit in the small boat. As usual, Milton was standing on the bow with his nose to the wind when all of sudden, Milton wasn't standing on the bow with his nose to the wind. He was gone. For no reason that Hunter could think of, Milton fell off the boat. Even worse: Milton got wet. Luckily, only his pride was hurt. He swam to shore, shook off the water and waited for Hunter to pick him up.
I think I've said it before, I have the best neighbours on earth. The humans in this neighbourhood get along famously. However, I can't say as much for our four-legged friends. Happily for all of us, our dogs don't physically fight each other. No, the dogs in our 'hood are seriously into covert operations.
I'll start with my dog: He's a thief. At least twice a week, I'll see him prance across the yard (yes, he prances) with a dog toy that I certainly didn't buy him. With tail high in the air, he'll disappear into the bushes and come out minutes later without the toy looking awfully proud of himself.
He must have really had it in for one of his neighbours last week when he came dashing across the yard with a giant rawhide bone (he hates rawhides). He emerged from the bushes an hour later without the bone, sporting a raw, bloody and dirty nose from whatever he did to bury the bone.
|Milton's sore nose.|
The lady dogs to my right like to take things from our yard, too. Mostly barbecue utensils that they nab before I've had a chance to clean up and before Milton can get to them. They don't take them very far. They just leave them out on the street, lick them clean and leave them to get run over by cars. I've lost more than a couple of basting brushes that way. Between my basting brushes and the neighbour's rawhides, I think we're about even.
Sometimes, I really wish I knew what dogs are thinking. I'm sure they have much more going on than we ever give them credit for.
Boston: Welcome to Homer! On sunny days you'll find us at the same place at the same time. Look forward to seeing you and Miss W.