Seeing the world through a puppy's senses opens one to new or long-forgotten things in this world.
We were hiking across the sand dunes near the Oregon coast, Bud in the lead and Sammie and I following. Every step Bud took left a three-inch depression in the sand. To a puppy, new to this much sand, every one of those boot-prints must have looked like a hole with the possibility of something interesting to sniff. Imagine watching three beings crossing the dunes: the first, camera in hand, plowing forward aggressively; the next, a pup, pouncing from footprint to footprint with excited nose to the ground; the third a person doubled over laughing while trying to keep the pup's leash in hand. What fun!
Sammie seems to have a particular nose for mushrooms. Not too many of these fungi in the dry forests of the eastern Cascades, but in the moist green forests near the coast, different varieties seem to pop up just under the logs or the ferns. I go on alert when I see Sammie, nose to the ground, along the moss-covered logs or the edge of the lush greenery along the trail. Yuck! I am not fond of mushrooms to start with, but they are extra-slimy when you have to remove them from a puppy's mouth.
Need an expert on ducks? Look no further than our puppy Sammie. It was rain, rain and more rain on Wednesday, and we stopped for lunch and relaxation at John Topits Park and Empire Lake in North Bend, along the Oregon coast. The day's weather was definitely made for ducks, and they were cavorting and playing enthusiastically along the edge of the lake, and in the water. Sammie took up positions in the driver's seat, the sofa and the bedroom window for nearly two hours, just carefully watching every move, flight and "quack." It was like a human being watching a sporting event...two quarters of duck team-tag, time out for the concession stand (puppy kibble), then back to the fowl lines.