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Sunday, December 20, 2015

THE NEW DOG ON THE MOUNTAIN

kutra meets sofia
 
I was making phone calls to see who I could watch the Carolina Panthers stomp the New York Giants with. Had a good place to go and good friends. The phone rang from Raleigh telling me friend in Raleigh was on my road bringing my dog, a three and a half hour drive. This is somebody whose life is dedicated to the four-leggeds. He had found the dog a home, but it was not a good home. He called me to ask if I'd take the dog, a lab mix. It only took two hours to decide. I weighed why I don't want a dog against why I want a dog. The latter tipped the scales all the way. After going over why I would like a dog, like eight years without a dog, I could see it had to be. I knew already it was the right dog, dog and Sophia would become friends right away. He drove up with the dog riding on the seat. I knew as soon as she jumped down from the door and looked at me, this was my dog. We took to each other on sight. He told me her name was Lil Bit, but I had another name for her. Kutra, as I've been told, is the Sanskrit word for protector. Whether or not it is actually the Sanskrit word, I don't know. It is in my mind. The only Sanskrit I think I know. The Hindi version of it is kutta, their word for dog, the protector.

black dog cammo
 
Whatever the case, dog's name is Kutra. Even if it's nonsense syllables, I believe it means protector. If it is not a Sanskrit word and means nothing, I don't care. I like the name. I give her this name wanting her to be Sofia's protector from a cat killing dog that lives nearby. Plus, I like the sound. I took her for about an hour walk through the woods around the property line soon after friend left. I wanted to give her experience exploring her new home. Friend was not enthusiastic about a name change, and I don't like to change a pet's name, but do. Jenny was Daisy before. Changed it because I can't have a donkey named Daisy. I can't call a dog Lil Bit. I called her Kutra hundreds of times on our walk, familiarizing her with the sound. We walked the woods the other side of the road. She responded to Kutra the same as I was told she responds to Lil Bit. She doesn't respond to Lil Bit from my voice. I realized it was not a problem for dog to be called by a new name. She responded to being called Kutra. Perhaps it's reasonable to her that a new primate would call her a new primate sound. I don't know what dogs think, though was given the impression by her that she connected with the sound of Kutra. She looks to me like the word sounds. I carried a leash around my neck, believing she would stay with me, but not sure.

water dog
 
Several times she ran out of my sight. I trusted that, like my dogs before her, when she was out of sight I was still in her sight. She'd be out of sight for a short time and come running back. Her nose was going in overdrive. Scents of the night animals. She followed a scent a ways, found another, followed it, found another. Throughout the walk she sniffed scents going every which way. I noticed she handled her footing well on the new, uneven ground that had a spongy quality from several years of decaying leaves. She found a place beside Waterfalls Creek where night critters drink, stepped into the water feeling it on her feet. She sniffed around on land awhile and walked back into the water, walked in it almost deep enough to cover her back. I don't know if she'd ever had the experience of a creek. The lab within drew her to the water. The first time she stepped into the creek she squatted down on all fours lowering her belly into the water and relaxed into the sensation of moving water for half a minute, feeling the water stimulate her inner lab.

she came running out of the water
                 eyes sparkled
smile so radiant it bared her teeth
 

 I saw a few times everything here was new to her. She ran under the lower wire of a patchwork barbed wire fence and let out a yelp. It bit her. Trial and error. Now she knows. Her mind catches onto things instantly. I  saw her walk into an area with several briars growing. She went into it rather quickly and slowed down just as quickly. She learned to step gently among briars. Toward the end of our walk I questioned whether to take dog on a short stretch of road or take her through the woods all the way to the house. I chose the road to give her the experience of road, supervised. I walked along the edge of the road and she ran everyplace that was green. The walk turned out to be so much like walks with dogs that have lived here before, I questioned if she might already know the place. She is the perfect image of the last dog that lived here twelve years, Aster. Kutra has a white spot below her throat, as did Aster. It was the spot of white that gave Aster her name, star. I can see that already Kutra is beginning to claim me. She gives Sofia looks when she thinks I'm not looking that tell cat to be very afraid. Sofia backs up. While I hold Sofia, she makes eye contact with dog and gloats. I'll be having some interpersonal dynamics to work with over the next weeks.

ninja cat aint afraid of no dog
 
 
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