On Friday, we headed off to central Oregon to visit my parents' property out in Pine Grove. I've mentioned it several times in the past, but it's 40 acres of bare land that my parents' have owned forever, that butts up against the Mt. Hood national forest. It's fantastic and the dogs love it! Almost exactly a year ago this past Friday when we went out there, we had an "experience" with a herd of semi wild horses. Since then, we haven't come across this herd again. Well........you guessed it......her of horses. Thankfully not right at the camp site this time around, but just up and over the next hill once we set out hiking. Oy! But I'm getting ahead of myself!
Once we got to the property, I let the dogs out and they ran around for about a half hour. First it started off like this:
The longer they ran around, the more wound up Bess got. Until she was doing a whole lot of this:
She really cracks me up some times!
Once they got the zoomies out of their system we headed out. It was a beautiful day out! Clear skies, temps in the low 50's, and barely a breeze. Almost perfect! As we got going along, the dogs got really interested in the scents on the ground. Almost as though something was relatively close by. We were high enough up on the first hill that I had a really good vantage point of the area around us and I couldn't find horses, deer, or anything. I just figured that something had come along a while before we did and the scent was still fresh enough to perk the interest of the dogs. Bess was actually striking some poses and holding them, which is not terribly common for her, so I took advantage of the situation and got some shots that I like.
As we were coming up and over the second hill, I spotted the freaking herd of horses shortly ahead of us. The dogs didn't initially spot them. I think they were too interested in the SMELLS to pay attention to what was a short distance ahead of us. I stopped and took stock of the situation. The last time we came across this herd, upon first sighting them, the dogs immediately gave chase. But then we came across that herd a few more times that same day and they weren't as interested. I had a feeling that there interest would be lower this time and knowing my dogs, I continued on our path.
As you'll see in the video (I forgot to mention that while I was taking stock of the situation I was also taking out my camera and preparing to get some pictures/video), Bess seemed a lot more oblivious to the horses than Heffner. Heffner wasn't really sure whether to chase them or hang back. He's smart and realized that he was out numbered and wasn't about to give chase unless Bess was crazy enough to.
Here's a picture of the herd:
I have to admit that the dogs were actually pretty well behaved. In the picture above that I took with Heffner's head in it, he was standing next to me voluntarily. I wasn't hanging on to his collar. Eventually Bess caught on to the fact that there were horses right in front of us. Then both dogs took up a position of watching and waiting. I'm pretty sure that they were both waiting for the horses to make the first move.
Gradually more and more horses stopped grazing and brought their heads up to watch us. Once the horses broke and started casually trotting away, the dogs were off! Bess did a nice big loop of the herd and I think was just getting her rocks off chasing them period. Heffner chased for a bit and then realized it was a lot of effort to continue chasing these big beasts that were faster than him (once they started galloping) and jauntily trotted back to me as the victorious perimeter guard that he is. After Bess had a good run, I called her back and she happily came running back to us with her tongue flapping all the way out of her mouth. She was just plain pleased with herself!
The rest of the hike was uneventful, but gorgeous. Here are the rest of the pictures that I took along the way:
Our total hike time was a little less than three hours. Once we got back to the truck, I pulled out my camp chair, a book, and relaxed in the sunshine for a bit. The dogs lay around me and soaked up some rays. After about a half hour, I started to get chilled though. While temps in the low 50's are great for when you're hiking and getting that blood pumping, they're not as much fun when you're sitting around not doing a whole lot. So I packed the dogs up and we headed home.
I spent the rest of the evening with Adam seeing Red and grabbing a little bite to eat. Good movie, and a relaxing end to the day. Except that once I got home, I remembered that I had four ginormous cow livers sitting in the garage that were completely thawed and waiting for me to cut up. That took about an hour and a half. Once I showered the raw meat smell off of me, it was off to bed and pleasant dreams of actually getting to sleep in on a Saturday morning!