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After a hike, I often use a picket line to let the dogs rest while I water them down. The end result are pictures like this:
If you were to drive up on the scene, the purpose of the picket line would become abundantly clear as you looked over at a line of dogs:
But, of course, luck did not work that way. We had just finished loading the dogs into the jeep which was parked across the parking lot from this patch of grass, about 25 feet away. Up the road pulls a park ranger. A park ranger we had never met before.
Believe it or not, we know most of the rangers. Because of funding, there are actually very few of them and, surprisingly, they tend to remember six Siberians. Shocking, I know. But this ranger we had never met. Maybe he is new this season. Who knows? Regardless, as he came around the corner, he did not see the jeep because the dogs were, of course, all laying down sleepy. What he saw was me standing in the middle of this grassy area coiling a cable. He stopped. Rolled down the window. “What are you doing?” Pleasant, but firm. Law enforcement firm.
“Dog drop.” Made sense to me.
“Excuse me?” Didn’t make any sense to him.
“A dog drop line. You know, a picket line.” Clear?
“A what?” Not clear. He looked about ready to get out of the vehicle.
Fearing that he thought I was being evasive, I tried to be clear. “It is a dog drop line, like a tie out for multiple dogs. We use it when we get off the trail.” He is looking at me blankly and only then does it dawn on me that he does not see any dogs. They have picked this exact moment to be invisible. “Over there, in the jeep.”
He glances over and, bless them, a couple of them raise their heads up and look out.
The ranger smiles. “Have a great day.” He drives on.
Whew. You were worried about me, weren’t you Herd?
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