Keep your eyes open for a cool, huge white dog if you’re along the eastern edge of the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge.
You won’t believe your eyes if you see his running buddy. I sure didn’t.
Last Friday I was near Quivira’s east entrance for some errands and wildlife watching. At dusk I was slipping out of insulated coveralls back at Ol’ Red when I noticed something trotting my way.
It was a big white dog. I’m talking well over 100 pounds that looked like some kind of Lab/cross. It had naturally short hair and an easy-going lope.
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As I scratched its waist-high head I heard another animal coming.
When I looked up I saw a brown goat, and he trotted right up for some attention, too. It was obviously as happy to see me as was the dog and equally calm around humans.
The dog wore no collar but appeared to be well-cared for and very socialized around people. Ditto the goat. First the dog and then the goat trotted off to the north as I got into my pick-up.
A little later two friends joined me for some clean-up work around the old homestead where I’d parked. It wasn’t long before the dog bounced into the light cast by my Coleman lantern. Seconds later the goat happily appeared, too.
The brown goat was as approachable and calm as any friendly dog. It’s the first goat I’ve really ever liked.
At one point I had to make a 500 yard walk to retrieve a backpack I’d left in some tall grass. Half-way through the trip I looked up and saw the dog and goat headed my way. When I made a playful lunge at the dog it ran happy circles around me. So did the goat.
Both politely wanted a little petting and scratching for making the trip.
I’d just started the walk back to my friends when the dog bolted far ahead. Twice it stopped and waited for the much slower goat to catch-up as they returned to the homestead.
Later that night I mentioned the odd couple to the landowner, a farmer who knows the area and all his neighbors very well. He’d never seen the dog or the goat. Saturday he made a few phone calls and nobody in the area had, either.
We were back in the area Sunday afternoon and, unfortunately, saw nothing of the dog or his short-horned buddy.
Maybe they were over on the refuge, hitting up visitors for a little attention.
If you’re there and happen to see them, remember they both enjoy a little scratching behind their ears.