I keep reading about how modern dogs are evolved from wolves who became domesticated when people realized that they could be useful, and stopped chasing them away from their prehistoric camps.
That's probably true. But now the dog-human relationship seems to have swung almost totally in the direction of dogs benefitting from living with us.
Sure, I enjoy the company of our Husky mix canine, Mooka. However, she doesn't contribute very much around our house. The most useful thing she does is occasionally catch a mole or vole that's burrowing in our yard.
Meanwhile, she regularly drives my wife and me crazy. I guess that's her job -- challenging us to stay as sane as possible in the face of her antics.
This morning Laurel took her for a walk around the community lake in our aptly-named neighborhood, Spring Lake Estates. Walking ahead of Mooka, Laurel realized she was nowhere to be found. And she wasn't coming when called, a sign that something has seriously grabbed Mooka's attention.
Eventually Mooka appeared out of some brush near the lake. She was carrying something. Laurel thought it might be a tennis ball thrown and lost by another dog owner. But no, it turned out to be a goose egg.
It was impressive that Mooka could gently cradle an egg in her powerful dog jaws. Laurel wanted to return it to the goose nest, though. Which Laurel never found. What she did find was newly sprouting poison oak growing in the area Mooka had been rummaging around in.
So Laurel had to wash her clothes, since we both are allergic to poison oak, and Mooka got a good hosing down.
My afternoon walk with Mooka wasn't so eventful. Just the usual way Mooka drives me crazy on our mostly leashless walk along some Spring Lake Estates trail easements, then on Lake Drive back to our house.
Me, I have the strange idea that a dog walk should mostly consist of walking along with our dog. Mooka has a different understanding.
Pretty clearly she views walking as a means to get from one captivating scent to another captivating scent, spending as much time as possible engrossed in the smells, with as little time as possible actually walking.
I'm fine with this up to a point.
That point has a limit when I start thinking about how much I want to get home and eat dinner, along with watching my recording of All In With Chris Hayes on MSNBC so I can keep in touch with my own obsession: politics and current affairs.
So after waiting for what seems like ten minutes for Mooka to cease her sniffing at some spot, but probably is more like 45 seconds, I start issuing commands to our dog: "Mooka, let's go!" Though her hearing is excellent, Mooka ignores me until, maybe the fifth time I say this, I try to sound more like a stern Alpha pack leader.
"Mooka, let's go, now!" She then ambles slowly away from whatever she was smelling to find a new scent, after which we repeat our little game of me commanding and Mooka very reluctantly complying.
But out here in the country there's plenty of places for a mischievous dog to hide from sight. Like behind this impressive pile of wood from the February 2021 ice storm that hasn't yet been split and hauled away.
Eventually, though, I put on Mooka's leash when we reach Lake Drive, a lightly travelled road where you can walk along the center line as if it were a yellow brick road that leads not to the Wizard of Oz, but ...
The good news (for me) is that now I have Mooka on a leash and can pull her away from the enticing garbage can. Our house is just a few hundred yards away, so I know that I've survived another attempt by our dog to drive me crazy.
Tomorrow will be another day.