Finn the guard dog

Finn and I were running trails at Cougar Mountain with Mike and his Samoyed Alice yesterday. Because Alice had knee surgery a year ago and easily overdoes it if allowed her freedom on the trails, Mike keeps her on leash through most of the run. Finn, though, is off leash, as are most of the dogs we encounter on these trails. The people are also off leash ;-)

I figure Finn covers at least three times the ground that I do on these outings. He's running back and forth on the trail, then dashing off to the side to flush small birds from the ferns, or chase a squirrel up a tree. If Finn could climb trees to get to those squirrels, he would. I've seen him try. He has so much fun out there. I have nearly as much fun just watching him.

As we rounded a bend in the trail, I saw two hikers coming down the trail toward us. Just before reaching them, Finn spied yet another bird off in the ferns. He leaped off the trail, up the bank, over downed trees, boulders, ferns, creeks...whatever was between him and the flying bird. He springs off all four feet at once, bounding like a deer.

I watched smiles spread across the faces of the hikers as they watched him.

"He's part antelope," I said by way of explanation, returning their smiles. Finn is truly amazing in his bounding abilities, and people often comment on it.

The man laughed. "No danger of squirrel attacks with him around," he said.