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Reaping in the Sad.

Preston has always a been a guy that follows his nose.

We went for our second trip to Mary's Peak to search for chanterelles today. Found a lot more than we did last time. I found a Matsutake that looked pristine, but was actually a bit buggy (meaning, had lots of fungus gnat larvae). I'm kinda squeamish about these things, which is why I love chanterelles so much; they RARELY have any larvae in them. BTW, that IS a chanterelle in the picture. This is an old picture, but it is one from the same place.

Well, I STILL don't like matsutake.

The worst and best part of today is Preston. The best part is that Preston didn't run away, didn't even get toooooo far out of sight. The worst part is that Preston didn't run away, didn't get tooo far out of sight.

Obviously, anyone that actually goes through life with their dog...and, of course, I mean the DOG's life...knows that they don't live as long as we do and that this is quite unfortunate because the world could maybe be a better place. Then again, wild dogs and wolves are pretty savage. But they aren't as clever with their paws and brains as we are in ways to truly **** up the world.

But, what I really mean is that it is heartbreaking to see this once-great legend look for the easiest way around logs and stumps. I watched as he jumped over a log when we first went into the woods and it was a mighty gathering of power. Afterwards, he remembered that he can't do that anymore. Paul said that it is sad when they start becoming really careful about where they expend their energies. This is entirely true. Preston has pretty much two good jumps and a 22-second chase in him now. After that, he still is stiff. Sheesh, though, he really is all heart -- that's what Paul likes to say. What he means is what we all go through, I think: the mind is always more willing than the body.

Dogs are truly all heart. And that is, of course, a figure of speech that just means: "spirit, courage, and enthusiasm." I have always spoke of Preston as being "exhuberant" because he had so many "causes" that made him so happy. They all had to do with food. Preston is a dog after my own heart. He has always been full of enthusiasm and spirit. As for Courage??? Not so much that I know of, but he has been through a helluva lot that I KNOW of...and there may be many things that I don't know of. All I know is that Preston has chased coyotes at least a dozen times that I can remember and he always came back fine. Granted, he's not a miniature schnauzer or one of those little dogs that think they are larger...he's actually a good-sized dog at 60 pounds. Still, everyone has always warned me about those coyotes. "They entice a dog back to where the pack is and they kill it." Fortunately, around Corvallis, I think the coyotes have enough to eat that they don't want to EXPEND THEIR ENERGIES on a 60 pound dog.

Even after all of this, I need to keep an eye on Preston. Maybe it's like looking after a very precocious child, or maybe more looking after an autistic 10-year-old, I don't know either way. He just keeps following a single-minded straight line AWAY from wherever I am. Perhaps, in this case, that should be single-NOSED. Whatever, I just have to always keep an eye out for him.

It used to be that I watched him in an attempt to keep him from running off. Now I am watching him in an attempt to keep him from walking off. In so many ways, I worry about him more now.

I don't know if he can fight those coyotes anymore.

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