Monday, 30 December 2013

Taming the Wildlife

It's grooming day today. Freddie doesn't know it yet, but he will anon, when I start converting our living room into a beauty salon and hauling out slicker brushes, combs, scissors, dematting tools, and the dreaded electric clippers. A full labradoodle groom takes the pros between 2 and 4 hours, so you can see why I call this "grooming day."

I'm intimidated. I've only done this once before — and Freddie wasn't as shaggy and matted as he is now (I confess that house-moving tasks have recently trumped dog brushing). I'm also thinking how weird and kind of twisted it is that humans have created an animal who, if left untended by its humans, would soon be paralyzed, blinded, and otherwise incapacitated by an ever-growing mass of dreadlocks. Doesn't seem quite fair. But I guess most of today's domestic wolves would also find themselves hungry pretty quick without their humans.

Anyway ... a final swig of coffee and onward!

Today's photos come from yesterday's rainforest hike from Bridgman Park to the Baden Powell trail in the company of Leah and her two pooches. Watch for wildlife!

Cairns along the river

Leah and Plouf, the elder statesman of our three-member dog pack
Freddie and Kali, ready to take on mud and moss, rocks and logs, and (before the climbing starts) lots and lots of other dogs! Most people just run their dogs along the river, but the hike up the Baden Powell trail is our favourite part.

I was too distracted yakking with Leah and watching Freddie to be especially ambitious with my photos. But one of these times I'll try to do justice to the teeming density of the rainforest.
I was not, however, too distracted to miss this sighting of a giant Pacific Western mock preying mantis! These towering insects, though they camouflage extraordinarily well, can be terrifying if you happen to come face to face with one. Fortunately, they're completely harmless herbivores.


Trying to lure three dogs into a front-facing sit

I give up!

 Leah commands attention.

Spot the self-cleaning dog ...

... and wish us luck!

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