I “had” a pheasant cape hanging in my garage, which is adjacent to my office. Now I have feathers all over my office. I also “had” a deer cape in my garage but bits of it too are now scattered all over my office. Somehow the last time I went in and out of my garage yesterday, the dogs, Cookie and my Basset Hound, Buster, managed to open the door, or more likely in my haste to get back to the house I didn’t latch the door. To make a long story short, the dogs had a great time. When I went into my office this morning Cookie ran to greet me at the door and she had a pheasant wing in her mouth. At least she retrieved it. Anyway, the first hour of work was spent cleaning up the mess. I did salvage the tail feathers but there weren’t any feathers left for fly tying.
On to the whitetail hide they found in the garage. They didn’t completely trash it, just pulled a lot of hair out so that I now have bits of whitetail hair in every part of my office. I did manage to salvage the tail so I’ve got that for some tying.
At first I was furious with the two dogs but then, while I was cleaning up, I got to thinking, they were just being dogs and having a good time. Not unlike my kitten, Ophelia, that is trying to knock everything off my desk as I write this. Every animal, when given the opportunity, will play. When I was a deputy sheriff in Custer County, Colorado (a long time ago), I watched jackrabbits, coyotes, deer and antelope all play when they were sure they were safe. Sometimes there is a thin line between vying for dominance and play and frequently they are mixed. But, there as also a lot of play by all animals even after they have reached adulthood. The wildlife was the best part of the long back country patrols and I would frequently stop and watch the animals from a distance. Cookie and Buster must have been in doggie heaven when they were playing with the capes. It was my fault for not checking the door and I’m just glad they were distracted by the capes and didn’t get into anything that could have hurt them.
When I really think about it I know that we can learn something from animals--play, it won't hurt you. Oh, make your play something that isn't connected to the way you live your life. Step away from the fishing, hunting and everything that goes with them and just play with someone.
Two, maybe three more hunts and my season will be in the books. Over the winter I’ll tie some flies and get ready for spring and spend a lot of time just thinking. glg
8 months ago