Being Herded


Aki is snoozing, worn out from herding another human and myself around the Treadwell Ruins. She was much less opinionated than when the two of us walk the ruins alone. She didn’t stall and stare, as she normally would, when I started up a trail that leads to a junkyard of gold mining stuff. She dutifully dogged at the heals of our human friend, waiting without complaint when we stopped to take photographs of an ore car in its rusting glory.


            Sunshine powered through the forest canopy, raising the candlepower of yellowing devil’s club leaves beyond what my old DSLR could handle. Aki must has been squinting her eyes. We moved to an overlook where through a double chain link fence we watched a stream plunge several hundred feet into the flooded glory hole. Anywhere but here, where every mountain hosts at least one waterfall, this one would be mentioned in tourist material. Only locals can find this waterfall, and only those willing to climb the fence can see it’s entire length. 


            When Aki herded us onto Sandy Beach it seems packed with dog walkers, each smiling as their border collie or husky dog trotted along the water line. Forgetting her duties, my little poodle-mix dashed toward them. When they ignored her, Aki ran full speed down the beach, turned a wide arc and dashed back to her human charges. Break over, she dropped behind my human friend’s heals and monitored our progress back to the car. 


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