Posted by: Dave Neads | March 31, 2008

Dog Daze

It all starts with the owls.  Great horned owls.  You rarely see them, but on those mid-March nights when the moon is large they start their mating ritual.   Part of the performance is to call to each other, the forest and anyone else who cares to listen, with a series of deep hoots that sound just like a dog woofing.

Chilko thinks they sound like a dog too.  So he answers, and answers, and answers, all night long.  And it doesn’t help that his voice echoes back from across the valley!  I think the owls really get into it.  It seems the more Chilko barks, the more the owls woof in reply.

We let this go on for a few nights, then each time Chilko started the sequence, we would open the door and tell him “NO!”.  Poor dog, all that activity out there and he couldn’t take part.

Well, almost couldn’t.  He figured he had developed a way to be in that action and still not keep us awake.  He’d go up to the fir tree, about 30 feet from the door, where he would sit and give a swallowed sort of bumph non-bark.  It was really hilarious.  He’d sit there bumphing away, trying so hard to talk to the owls and yet do what we wanted him to.

But when the coyotes come calling it is just too much.  He can’t help himself and he starts to howl along with them.  He can’t really howl like a coyote; the song dog has it perfected, but he sort of moans and wails, sounding for all the world like a teenage boy whose voice is breaking.  We get quite a kick out of it.

It is a different story when the big boys are on the block though. When the wolves howl, Chilko just sits and listens, doesn’t even try to get in the act.  I guess he knows better than to mess with the bikers.

Owls that woof, coyotes that sing , wolves that howl and a dog that bumph barks, all are   just part of the things that go on here in the ARK.



  1. It is comforting to know that there is no reason to be afraid of things that go bumph in the ARK.

  2. Robert:

    Yes, that’s for sure. I will take wilderness over a city street any day.


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