Nevada Part 2. The Ballad of Locke

It was runnin 6 o’ clock

When out came chasin’ this good dog Locke

He’s everything but the one I need

Locke screams like a monkey

And swallows like a piggy

He’s everything but the one I need

Curls up like a lap cat

Perches on fences like a stone bat

He’s everything but the one I need

He dies; he runs; he strays

Sweet lil’ doggy I just need you to stay

He’s everything but the one I need

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Still from a modern dance portrayal of Locke

I wake up first.  For a capricious person, I have a fairly routine morning which consists of shaking off the morning chill, petting the pups, and deciding if I should maniacally wake up Rob or pleasantly allow him to wake up to breakfast.  As I was still deciding, I unzip the tent facing the sparse forest of Great Basin NP and watch the dogs race out and towards every thing to pee on.  I check to see if anything has been sleeping in my shoes – that’s also part of my daily routine.  Before I do that, I look up to gush over Locke’s fluffy perked ears, especially the white one with brown spots and crimped hair (crimps that I would’ve killed for in middle school), his pointed pillow chest, and his bowed legs.

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SHIT.

“Locke! Locke! STOP! Look a stick…wanna eat…want food…come back HERE!”  (Locke is surprisingly agile)  I uselessly give up chase and in between that moment and the one where Rob is keeping post at camp while Ronan is tracking Locke’s scent is a huge blur.  All I remember is Rob going “Where’s Locke?” and Ronan tilting his head before he dives his nose to the ground.  Rob and I gape at each other, “Can Ronan do that?”

The answer is no, he cannot.  Or, maybe he can, but he’s just not that good at it yet.  I ended up following Ronan miles up and wherever.  Along the way I found dried up bones and carcasses and wondered if Locke was even still alive.  What if he gave chase to a deer and the deer kicked him to death?  Whatever it is, I hope Locke won.

A few more hours until Ronan and I found camp and lo’ and behold, Locke!  Rob told me that he was shaking the dog bowl and saw Locke sneaking back with his tail in between his legs – no cliché.  After showering him with all the love that he’d probably forget the next minute, Rob took two carabiners, a leash; hooked one end to Locke and the other to Ronan.  “There, now your big brother can always babysit you.”

Always
Always

– Chelsea

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