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Natasha rides really well in the Jeep. Her seat belt position is immediately behind the passenger seat so she can move from looking out the passenger side of the jeep to the center where she can rest her head on my shoulder. I am fairly convinced that she thinks she is driving.
(In fact, I am always thankful that I drive a manual transmission because I have this vision of her taking the Jeep out for a joy ride. Of course, she could put Rusty on the clutch & gas pedal, Kodiak on the gear shift, and Kiska in charge of steering, and she might just pull it off.)
Anyway, she rides well in the Jeep except for a few distractions.
First, little dogs. I am fairly sure that considers little dogs being walked near the car as a Siberian version of a drive through window. Certainly not for play. However, dogs her own size – even bigger dogs – are met with a happy grin and, sometimes, a woo hoping they will play.
Her second fascination are horses. Not sure if she thinks they are really big dogs, but she is fascinated with horses. Her eyes get big, her grin gets wide, and she strains against her seat belt. Driving down a country road this morning, she saw some horses grazing near a fence line and she wanted so bad to go run with them. I always get tickled at her because none of the other dogs care, but she loves them.
Which brings us to this afternoon. We were headed up to Craggy Gardens (more on that tomorrow with pictures), which means North on the Blue Ridge Parkway beyond Asheville. We come around a corner and standing in the road is a young buck deer, his antlers – small but very defined – growing from his head. As I stop the car, Natasha is alert over my shoulder and staring with giant eyes at this really, really big dog with horns. I am laughing at her, but assume no one else is paying attention.
After a few seconds, the buck ambles off the side of the road and down the slope. I start to drive past. All of a sudden, all of the dogs race to the right to stare at the deer. The ones on the left can’t get all the way there, but the ones on the right – three heads are suddenly straining out of the side of the Jeep.
If we had been in a boat, I think we would have capsized.
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