(Image courtesy of Wikipedia)
So it's midnight and I've just returned from one of the most surreal experiences I've had yet this year and feel compelled to write this down while the experience is still fresh.
Pepper and I went on one of our night-time bike-walks on the back roads. Being on a bike is the only way I can wear him out without overexertion on my part. It's great fun. I ride, he follows off-leash.
We were passing an old dirt road that runs by on the hill just above my property and I saw the glow from a pair of headlights up the road. Usually a stopped car on that road indicates somebody up to no good (we've had a lot of deer poaching and garbage dumping around here) or conceivably a person in distress. We went up to investigate what was going on and as I rounded the bend I saw what appeared to be a horse loping around in the headlights. Oh, right... someone recapturing a horse that jumped it's fence, happens all the time around here. The dog slipped away from me and I went after him. As we got closer I noticed that the horse was extremely tall and it's legs were far too long to be a horse's.
Despite me yelling for him to come back, Pepper went to greet the VERY LARGE female moose directly ahead of us. She did not appreciate his company and began pursuing him back toward me. I got off my bike, attempting to nestle myself up into the trees out of her way. Pepper plowed right into my bike, knocking off the headlight. The moose brushed past me and kept up the pursuit, they rounded the bend to the right and were gone. The driver eased her vehicle up beside me to inquire if I was OK while I was picking up my bike and attempting to reattach the headlight. It was a rather awkward introduction,"Yes, I'm fine thank-you. Hello I'm ****, your neighbor down on.... That was my dog and it would appear that he is currently learning a valuable lesson if he doesn't get himself killed..... pardon me, nice meeting you but I have to go see if I can find him." Just as I said that they came into view at the intersection again, this time going the other way... she was still chasing him, her nose only a couple feet from his hind-end.
I caught up with Pepper a half mile down the road, thoroughly winded and with no moose in sight. We are home now and I am thankful that he didn't get injured and equally thankful that I don't have a heart condition. Currently kicking myself for not having the camera on me. In the brief conversation I had with the driver, she indicated that the moose didn't seem bothered by cars so she had followed her a fair distance in the car from her place a couple miles down the road. This would be the first close-encounter I've ever had with one. For those of you unfamiliar with moose, they are very large. I stand almost six feet tall and her shoulders were about even with the top of my head.
Now I am wondering what it would be like if there was a version of the show "Jackass" for pets. My dog would be a shoe-in given the amount of stupid-crazy situations he gets himself into.