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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Recon Patrol 7/12/10

Today we had a long and rather hot RECON. I got up early and we were out the
door by 0730. We went a new route into a subdivision that's close to the house.
We climbed our 40 degree 'hill' then started exploring some different streets. The
neighborhood is a nice one with sidewalks and high privacy fences. There's even
a little park where we stop and drink water and I put some on the dogs' faces
and bellies to be sure they're cool enough.

The only problem is the privacy fences. When there is a dog inside the yard,
the Cpls cannot see him. This makes for a rather noisy passing as Bridget takes
offense at not being able to see the enemy. And some of them are quite large
and hit the board fence with enthusiasm. I even saw a German Shepard or
Malinois head come up over the 6 ft fence.

We had been going at a good clip and Bridget and I were arguing whom the
commander of this particular parade. She always wants to be in front and then
strains against the lead. Added to this was the additional stress of the
unpredictable attacks on the various perimeter fencing. Cpl Abbot as usual was
in his customary 1st Sgt's position at the rear of the formation happily
trotting his short little legs along.

Then we turned a corner to go up yet another street when I saw looming up the
hill an Samurai Sentry in the form of a huge black chow dog. He was standing
in the big middle of his front yard and giving us the evil eye. I stopped the
patrol and considered our options. We could go forward and engage the enemy,
but my two little Marines had been going great guns for 2.3 miles and were not
at their best fighting conditions. Plus, my main homicidal maniac had been
fighting me for the last mile. Nevertheless, she hit the end of her leash and
barked out her battle cry. Cpl Abbott looked at me like Longstreet to Lee at
Gettysburg and said "If you want it, we'll do 'er, but I'm not enthusiastic
about the whole thing."

As the Commander I took all options into consideration and decided to make a
dignified retreat. We had lost nothing on that street. The other soldier was
only guarding his own camp and had not made any hostile moves yet. And he was
Huge!! Even from the distance, he looked to be the size of a black angus bull.
Just a while back we'd successfully withstood skirmishes from two macho young
Pit Bulls but no actual blood had been shed. I liked out combat history. I'll
take one successful flanking movement and one peaceful outcome over a last stand
any day. My two marines have a combined weight 31 lbs, this guy probably topped
out at around 100 with or without fur coat. So we made a good about face and
headed down the lonesome trail. The Chow, like a good sentry, stayed his post and
watched us leave without comment.

We continued to back track until we hit our regular route and headed towards the
high school and then home. We made it down to the tennis courts but when we went
to cut across the high school campus at 3.07 miles, Bridget pulled back and plopped
down on the dirt. The good thing is that she picked a shady spot that we could all
enjoy the break. I pulled out the water bottle and the Home K9 Energy Edge'shake mix'
that I just got several days ago and mixed her a potion. She drank it down and lay
there happily as I washed her with the remainder of the cool water. She wasn't
abnormally hot, she just appeared all tuckered out. So we sat in the shade a while
took a short break and, when she finally got back up, made it back to the house.

I'm thinking that she's just not used to controlled marches. As a pup she just
did what she wanted and rested when she felt like it. So, since we've been
having forced marches, she just doesn't have the traveling stamina that Cpl Abbott
does. He stays calm and collected most of the time only having some mild panic
attacks when honking big vehicles come a little too close for his comfort zone.
He's only reacted violently once when a Labrador puppy tried to put a foot on
his head. When we get back from the marches he's just a happy little guy, no fuss no
muss no drama. She, on the other hand, is wearing herself out arguing with me and making promises she probably can't keep against much combatants. I mean I walk with a stick but it probably wouldn't have done much against Attila the Chow.

So that was our walk today. We actually logged 3.6 miles in about 2 hrs
including the breaks and the dramatic collapse. I'll probably take the little
darling to see her vet this weekend just to be sure there's not a real problem
that's manifesting itself as these apparent 'fainting' spells.

By the way, when we did get home, they BOTH had to run perimeter fence, chase the squirrels, threaten the Cocker brothers and argue with old Brownie. Then they came in and slept on the bed while I got ready for work. What a life.

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