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August 24, 2019: A Conversation with Ryder
Alys: Ryder, how are you doing?
Ryder: Just fine. What are we doing today?
A: Well, it looks like rain.
R: We could use some. The ground has gotten prickly.
A: Yes, and the trees need the water.
R: Guess I’ll go back to sleep.
A: So it’s going to be a rest day for you?
A: How does it feel to be back home?
R: Good, very good.
A: In what way?
R: Is more relaxed.
A: Did you enjoy our summer adventure? It was not very relaxed.
R: I did. I could have used a rest day or two on the pack trips.
A: What do you mean by a rest day?
R: A day in camp, you know, one in which we stayed put. This way, I could have alternated snoozing and chasing squirrels.
Ryder hanging out under the tarp during rainy weather
A: Like here at home.
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A: Did you enjoy the days in which we travelled by horseback?
R: Yes. I really enjoyed that last trip – the other two – we were on the road and I had to be on leash.
A: Yes, this is because you chase ATVs, dirt bikes, and other motorized vehicles.
R: Can’t help it. Something comes over me. I don’t know what it is. I just want to sink my teeth into that hot rubber.
A: You get in front of one of those tires and you will be smushed like a bug.
R: I am willing to take the risk.
A: I don’t want to see this happen. This is why I put you on the leash.
R: Sure was hot on those roads. And dusty.
A: Yes. And I felt bad about your plight.
R: Times like that I considered turning you into the human society.
A: And other times?
R: Other times, it was like being in heaven. I ran and ran and ran.
A: I don’t think we are going to take you on the next trip.
R: Why not?
A: The car chasing.
R: What are you going to do with me? Put me in a kennel?
A: No. I think I’ll have my sister, Eleanor take you for the summer.
R: I would like that. I like your sister. She really loves animals. She pays a lot of attention to me.
A: Well, she does live in the city.
R: If she fences in her yard and takes me for walks I’ll be just fine.
A: And by then you’ll be two years older.
R: I think that we should all go back to that last place where we packed.
A: You mean the Bob Marshall Wilderness area?
R: Yes, that place. Some of the creek crossings are a bit deep, but I can deal.
A: And you can chase squirrels.
R: All kinds of little things to chase.
A: And you can keep the horses company.
R: I don’t know what it is with you and these horses. All they ever think about is eating. They aren’t interested in chasing anything.
A: Well, we’ll see.
R: Let me know what your plans are.
A: I promise you, you will be the first to know.
R: I have a request.
A: What’s that?
R: Could you open this window? It’s a bit stuffy in here.
A: Will do.