Green Jaguar

The other day Spencer and I took our morning walk to the river. It has been raining a lot lately making the river too dangerous to cross, so the two of us play and explore on the bank of the river instead of the usual long walk on the Otro Lado. I walk Spencer to the river on a leash because he’s easily distracted by anything that moves. The routine I have set up for him is to go by leash to the river, spend some time off leash at the river, call him back to me using a piece of cooked chicken (as a bribe) and them clip him back on the leash to be walked home. In order for me to have my hands free when walking Spencer on a leash, I tie the leash to the side of my lumbar pack. I rarely go walking without my lumbar pack. It stores my water bottle, bug repellant, gloves, pocket knife, a snack and a plastic bag in case I find something interesting to take back.

On this walk I decided to go the long way back home with Spencer, avoiding the stairs. Everything was fine until we started the incline above our neighbor’s house, along the fence line. Spencer saw something and really wanted to chase it and started tugging to go back down the slippery incline. I had to brace myself in order to not fall down the muddy, slippery slide. He usually doesn’t pull this much when I walk him, he must have seen something really exciting, most likely a squirrel. As I’m making sure my foot holds are secure and holding onto a fence post, Spencer gives a mighty pull and the clip on my lumbar pack releases.

There goes Spencer, running down the hill with the leash attached to his collar and my lumbar pack on the end of the leash. I watch him go but something seems terribly wrong. He’s making an unusual barking noise and running like I have never seen him run before. At first I thought it must be some type of exotic animal he’s going after, and then quickly I realize he thinks he’s being chased by my lumbar pack! I yell for him, but he’s gone, heading back towards the river, barking and occasionally looking over his shoulder to see what is chasing and attacking him.

I follow him as fast as I can. Along the way I pick up my water bottle and a while later my gloves. Mario was working near the stairs and hears Spencer run by. Mario looks at me with the expression like what’s happening? I just shrug my shoulders and keep going. I call out for Spencer occasionally because I really had no idea exactly where he went. I call out again and hear one big bark. I see him just where the two rivers meet. I call him to me but he appears to be stuck. I walk over to him and see that the leash is still clipped on and my lumbar pack is still attached but it is wedged between two rocks. I give him a piece of chicken and retrieve my wet muddy lumbar pack.

Spencer sniffs and looks at the lumbar pack with great suspicion. I’m sure he’s trying to figure out what was chasing him. I can only imagine he thought it was something like a green jaguar quick on his tail and not letting up. I’m very happy the lumbar pack got stuck in the rocks at the river because it looks like he was going to try to cross the river to get away from the green jaguar. The river is so forceful now I don’t think he would have made it, especially with the drag of the pack.

For a few days after the excitement he would still sniff and look with wonderment at the lumbar pack. I did notice a few scratches in him which I am sure were a result of the flying, flinging pack he was so desperately trying to get away from.

Construction is moving along really fast. The bulldozer was here preparing the ground for the foundation. After digging in the dirt for a few days it was determined that we need to change the design of the foundation to one that ultimately will be more robust. The first shipment of steel arrived along with many truck loads of dirt and rock for ground preparation.

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