On the day after we moved to the mountains I met a dog named Boomer. This dog sauntered up the long driveway to our house like he owned the place. As a suburbanite transplant who just moved to a rural area I thought, “uh-oh” how many dogs run around freely in the surrounding areas that will be coming onto our property?” I shooed Boomer away not knowing what to expect. Would he charge? Would he bark and take an aggressive stance? But Boomer, who’s name I didn’t know at the time, gave me a sad little look as he jogged back down the driveway and out of sight.
The next time I encountered Boomer was a few days later when I took Kali out for her first walk in our new “neighborhood”. The neighborhood is comprised of mostly five acre parcels with an eclectic mix of homes, many set back away from the road and out of sight. As Kali and I walked and explored I noticed Boomer, whose name I still didn’t know, following us but keeping his distance. I posted it about it a the time expressing moderate concern about safety and how walks might be significantly different from our old creek trail in Livermore. Boomer stopped when I looked back at him and he remained still as Kali and I moved on. As we headed back home Boomer was still in the same place and as we got closer I realized it was the same dog that walked up our driveway a few days earlier. As Kali and I passed by he kept his distance and eventually ran off with the same sad little look he gave when when he jogged down our driveway.
It turns out that Boomer is a very friendly and sweet dog. With his black and white speckles and round body shape and short legs he looks like a cartoon dog.
Boomer the cartoon dog
While there are many dogs in the area I’ve never seen another dog walking around freely like Boomer does. Most families here have at least one dog, many have more, and they seem to fall into one of two categories. One, they are like our girls who stay within fenced areas or inside the house. Or two, they roam their fenceless property freely and only occasionally come out to the edge of their property line as we walk by but not onto the road where we walk. They seem to know their limits and what their job is.
With the exception of one or two instances I’ve never seen anyone else walk their dogs. I can’t blame them as we live on a mountain and it’s usually uphill both ways…. But we walk our girls almost every day. Often Boomer will join us skipping along in front by several yards and then scurrying back to wait while we catch up. It used to concern me that Boomer was out and about by himself all the time; and without a collar. But he seems very capable and comfortable and knows his limits. I’ve never seen him near the main road where cars travel and he seems to know where everyone else lives and takes care to help them find their way.
On a recent walk Boomer led Kali and I back home. He was a little ahead of us and he stopped in front of our gate that leads up to our property. Boomer seemed to know that’s the gate we use to go back home from our walks although it is not the same gate we use when start our walk. Boomer stopped and waited. As we approached and headed into the gate he ran on up the hill back to his house, probably feeling satisfied that he got us home safely. He is truly a great escort and I now laugh at how I could have been concerned the first day I saw this sweet guy saunter up our driveway who only wanted to welcome us to his neighborhood.
Boomer leading the way back home
Boomer the real dog