Wednesday 26 June 2013

Champ the Dog

    On Sunday, when I joined the work party to go out to the Goat River Trail, I rode with Juan, a “wwoofer” from Madrid.  Woofers are members of World Wide Opportunities for Organic Farms, which is an organization that enables people to travel to foreign lands to work and board on farms.  Minutes before, I had just met Juan for the first time, and as I piled into his truck he introduced me to his funny looking stubby little dog, “Champ”.  
    As Juan drove me out to Goat River, we had a chance to get acquainted and I learned a lot about Juan and Champ.  Juan had been in McBride a few years ago working on a farm, and it was there that he met Champ.  They must have hit it off, because when Juan went back to Spain, he took Champ with him.  Now a couple of years later,  the pair have returned to the Robson Valley to do another stint on the farm.
    Juan told me that although Champ is a small dog, it is a very courageous (and a bit foolhardy).  He has no fear or big dogs or other big animals.  He recently encountered a black bear, and chased it into the bear’s den.  Champ entered the den and was being beat up by the bear, when Juan, was finally able to Champ away.  If you look carefully at the photo below, you can see a few reddish areas on Champ’s back which where he was bitten by bear.
    I think Juan said that Champ was about 10 years old, but his age doesn’t slow him downl.  Juan, Champ, and I hiked several kilometers to the cable car crossing, and on the way back, my feet and legs were wearing out, causing me to fall behind.  Juan was walking up ahead, but Champ often stopped, sat, and waited until I came into sight, then  he would turn and catch up with Juan.  I really appreciated Champ’s apparent concern for me.
    When we got back to the muddy area, where we were building the boardwalk, in an attempt to cool off, Champ would lower his belly down in the soupy muck.  On the upper photo, you can see his dark mud covered stomach.

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