Saturday, May 24, 2008

Man Bites Dog

We have been having great fun the last two days with a young territorial deer who has staked a claim to our drain field hill and sees Sophie the Wonder Dawg as an interloper to be contended with.

This started yesterday when I dutifully opened the door to let the Wonder Dawg go out to do business. As I stood there watching her trot across the gravel drive to one of her favorite watering grounds, I noticed a young, antler-less deer standing stock still on the drain field alternating its gaze from me, to the Dawg, and back again.

Now normally, when the deer see the Dawg, they get ready to skedaddle. The Dawg, for her part, has seen a lot of deer over the years and now scarcely gives them the time of day. Part of that might be that she is becoming quite limited in her sight from cataracts and doesn't see deer until she is right on top of them.

So there we were, me on the porch, Sophie looking for just the right spot, and the deer up on the hill watching. As soon as Sophie had found her spot and settled down for a good dump, the deer started to slowly walk down the hill toward the Dawg. This was unusual behavior and I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next.

Just as Sophie was finishing up, the deer made its charge and damn near bowled her over. It took a second for the canine to figure that she was under attack from a giant four-legged creature, but once the synapses fired, she wheeled and gave chase to the deer who was high tailing it down the side yard. It was just for show however as Sophie stopped dead at the end of the mowed portion of the yard and then came ambling back to me shaking her head at the crazy state of the world.

I took her inside and went back to whatever it was that I was doing and wound up on the back screen porch which is one-story up on the back side of the house. Looking down, I saw our bambi friend looking back up at me. We stood there for some time before he turned and slowly headed back the way he had come, around the side of the house and up the hill toward the drive.

I quickly crossed through the house and out the front door which I closed but did not latch. The deer shortly appeared as it crossed the mowed portion of the side yard, across the drive, and up on the drain field once more where it set about munching on all of the new spring grass.

Just about then, a gust of wind blew the front door open and before I could catch it, the Wonder Dawg made a quick passage out onto the drive. Deja vu all over again. The deer with its excellent sight and hearing immediately focused intently on the Dawg. The Dawg, with neither of those faculties remaining, trotted blissfully toward the drain field to see if she could find any tasty deer or rabbit pellets to snack on.

Normally I would have called her back, but this was too interesting.

As the Dawg reached the field and started nosing around in the tall grass, the deer slowly began to stamp its front hooves. After about 30 seconds of that, it gave a loud snort that was as visible as it was audible. The deer was on the top of the hill and back lit by the sinking afternoon sun and as it snorted, I could see blasts of vapor shooting out of both nostrils. The deer was getting pissed.

Meanwhile, the oblivious Dawg got ever closer to the deer, either totally unaware or, simply ignoring the potential threat in a dismissive way. Whichever it was, it totally wanked the deer off and once again the deer charged, leaping clear over the Dawg who didn't even bother to give chase. The deer danced down the hill and out of sight. I reeled Sophie in before she ruined her appetite and I then peered out through the screen on the back porch.

There it was, staring back at me with a somewhat agitated look on its face. When the Dawg joined me it was too much for the deer and it wheeled around and ran straight through the fence of netting my neighbor had put up to keep the deer from nibbling on his shrubs. The attack deer went through it like it was not even there. The last I saw of it was as it stood in my neighbor's yard looking at the goldfish pond.

Until today, however.

Same scenario. I let the Dawg out and watched as a slender brown head rose over the drain field grass. Paw, paw, snort, snort, charge. But this time, the deer pulled up short and danced back a few steps. Was it trying to play? I don't know, but this time Sophie decided enough was enough and took a few running steps toward the deer, resulting in the deer jumping over her once more and taking a few leaps into the thick brush surrounding the drain field where I could hear it snorting in annoyance.

Sensing that this could go on all day, I called the Dawg off the hill which was difficult because she had found a pile of goodies and was ignoring my increasingly shouted commands to "come." When she finally recognized my commands and sauntered down off the drain field as though nothing strange had happened at all, the deer burst out of the brush right behind her doing the leaping thing and disappeared down the hill into the brush below.

So there you have it. Deer chases Dawg. Silly games in the north woods.


Blogger Cheesy said...

Oh lawrd... What a vision that must have been... How did you keep from peeing your pants??
Dawgs.. got to luv the doofi! Next time grab the camera dude!

7:22 PM, May 24, 2008  
Blogger Kristie said...

My shih tzus chase lizards here; I've yet to see one charge back, though. You have all the fun!

8:11 PM, May 25, 2008  
Blogger Leesa said...

Great story :)

My little dawg doesn't even pay attention to the deer anymore and vice-versa. She does love to go after the geese though, and they have NO problem going back after her :)

11:44 PM, May 26, 2008  

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