Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Living in Alaska brings one into close proximity with the substantial moose population on a regular basis, especially when one lives on 14 acres at the edge of the Hatcher Pass State Recreational Area like I did.  Jack Russell Terriers are very territorial against uninvited critters, and my dog Spanky took his job as border patrol very seriously. In the event an animal would wander through our property, (which was frequently because we unwittingly built our house on an established game trail.), Spanky would commence a chaotic game of chase with any and all offenders. Moose are big, dumb ungulants, oddly proportioned with large, bulky bodies attached to long, lumbering legs, looking like they were "put together by a Baptist Convention" as Beth Moore would say. They aren't easily diverted from their travel plans, so they would often attempt to stand their ground, not comprehending that Jack Russells don't realize they are little dogs. Like an angry mosquito, Spanky utilized the elements of surprise and incredulity, racing up to moose while barking ferociously, darting in and out under their feet and ultimately throwing them into a panic. Many times moose would get a little miffed at being made to look more ridiculous than usual, and a comical chase would ensue. Spanky loved this spontaneous game of tag, because he was much faster, more agile and endlessly more competitive than any moose ever was. And it gave him opportunity to show off his crazy ninja skills. Without fail, the moose would eventually become so confused and agitated it would abandon its plans and hightail it for the safety of the woods, with Spanky snapping at its heels. Once the moose was safely out of sight, Spanky would return to the deck to resume his ever-vigilent lookout until the next unsuspecting critter wandered across his Jack Russell line of demarcation. I'm sure the moose popluation in Hatcher Pass was extremely delighted when we moved to Arizona and took Spanky with us.

6" x 6" Oil on Canvas Panel
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