First Peoples

Dogs Dogs Dogs

Dogs have been important in the Okanagan for thousands of years. To lead us on the trail of a possible reason why, here is one of Mourning Dove’s tales of that wild dog and father of the people, Coyote, as told in the early 20th Century.

Here’s another dog, snoozing at Skaha (Dog) Lake in Okanagan Falls:

Keeping an Eye Out for Visitors from the South

Humans and dogs don’t necessarily have the same ideas about things, though. Here, for instance, is my response to the beauty of early winter ice in a ditch collecting rainwater from the base of a grassland slope:

The Beauty of Ice

I took a dozen pictures like this and had a very good time, thanks.

Dogs, however, see things a little differently. This is a picture of dog  humour:

Ice Broken by a Dog for the Lovely Sound it Makes

This went on for a hundred metres. I can remember doing that when I was a boy. It was one of the true delights of the year.

The thing is, dogs and children share an ecosystem. Telling stories about dogs keeps us in touch with curiosity, joy, play, and wonder.

And then there’s The Okanogan Valley Guide Service. They’ll take you out and help you put the hurt to coyotes.

Like I said, humans and coyotes don’t always have the same ideas about things.

2 replies »

  1. Harold, beginning the day, or ending it, with your blog is so good for the soul, even when it hurts.
    About the “guides” I wrote the following, and obviously we are the dogs, so often.

    Coyote Hurt

    Put the hurt to the coyotes,
    they might know what to do,
    put the hurt
    squeeze it in a bullet,
    send it flying,
    hope the hurt dissipates
    stays lodged
    in the red fox pelt.
    Put the hurt to the coyotes,
    they might know what to do.


    • Good to hear from you. Around here the coyotes sneak under the wire, eat the grapes left for ice wine, sneak back out of the wire, and then use the non-digested grapes to leave little piles of meaning at important trail intersections. A language for sure! Perhaps if I mapped it, I’d figure out the message. I doubt it’s like Linear B.


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