Tall grass and K2

What is it about dogs and tall grass? As with snow, a field of tall grass brings out the inner puppy in any dog, causing them to run and leap and bounce. It's a joy to behold.

Finn in field grass, near sunset.

There is abundant tall field grass near the Idaho house, on neighbors' acreage as well as my own. When the girls were younger, they'd chase and wrestle each other as soon as we entered a field of grass. Now, Finn shows the same propensity.

Finn and I are enjoying an evening stroll through the neighborhood, past the pasture with the horses to a gated entrance to the Payette Forest, our turnaround point. Walking along the pasture fence line, I notice that the property owner appears to be in residence; he's been gone since I arrived two weeks ago.

Finn and I turn at the gate to head back home. He's romping through an adjoining neighbor's field grass, racing around like the nut job he is. Three big dogs come rushing from the home of the guy who owns the horses. Two of the dogs I already know - Quincy, a Brussels griffon, and his sister Cinder, a black lab - and Finn has also met them on previous visits. Nice dogs, despite the rather aggressive initial greeting. They all sniff and greet. But there is a third dog with Quincy and Cinder, one I'd never seen before. She appears to be an airedale. Full grown, but puppy-ish and eager to play with Finn. Quincy and Cinder are called home; the other dog stays to play.

Finn makes a new friend.
They start playing inside one of the horse pastures, then quickly move into the tall grass of the neighbor's lot.

"K2!" calls the owner of Quincy and Cinder. I know him, so I ask if he's gotten a third dog. "No, it belongs to a friend," he replies. "Her name is K2," he adds. "She's a year and a half, really sweet, but a wild child." He's clearly becoming exasperated that she won't come to him. He keeps calling her, but K2 is having too much fun playing with Finn to listen. And I'm having too much fun watching Finn play with K2 to intervene. I'm bad.

K2 has no collar, and avoids all attempts by the neighbor to let him grab her, dodging his hands at the last minute. I try to not laugh. The neighbor is getting mad at K2. Eventually, taking pity on my poor neighbor, I get down into a crouch and call K2, gently; she comes right to me. I take the leash I always have around my waist, for emergencies (since Finn is always off leash on these neighborhood walks) and gently wrap the handle end around her neck, weaving the clasp end through the loop of the handle so that the neighbor can now walk K2 back to his house. The neighbor says he'll return the leash to me later that evening as he's already late for an appointment. "No problem," I say, but think that the real problem is that no one seems to think K2 should have identification on her. She could easily have followed me home, become lost....

Despite the loss of K2, Finn still flies joyfully through the grass.

Finn and I play just a bit longer in the tall grass. It's too nice an evening to rush home.

"Maybe if I'm really quiet," Finn seems to think, "something fun to chase will wander by."

Eventually, Finn and I continue our walk back home. Before we get there, the neighbor, with K2's owner in the car with him, drives up and stops to say he forgot the leash and will bring it by tomorrow. Again, I assure him it's no problem. K2's owner thanks me for helping corral her. "She's adorable," I tell her. "I'm thinking of stealing her," I joke. "Oh, that's good to know," the owner says. "If I have to sell my house and move, it would be nice if she could live somewhere with lots of room to play." Oh my god, the woman thought I seriously want K2! "I'm only joking," I quickly say. "I've got three dogs, that's enough for me." They thanked me again, then drove off.

The more I thought about K2, the more upset I became. Such a sweet and lovely dog, but clearly she's had no training, no manners, and is saddled with an owner who doesn't appear to care much about her, and hasn't made a life long commitment to her. 

Why, oh why, do people get dogs without making that commitment?

Rebecca Wallick1 Comment