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Puppy Hobo Camp

 The day is hot and humid. I'm with Gloria, Martin, and Linda, animal lovers and fellow adventurers. We've tromped through waist-high grass, slipped down a steep slope, tramped through a briar thicket, cracked off Tarzan-vines as thick as our wrists, and come to a halt at a barbed wire fence.  Nobody makes a sound as we gaze in disbelief at the scene below. 

Hobos in Chicago, 1929 

Okay, so maybe it's not exactly like that, but it is a hobo camp, a puppy hobo camp. 

It's in a litter strewn gully under an old Maple tree, sheltered by honey suckle vines and bramble bushes, with a floor of bare earth, and a whole bunch of puppies. All ages, all sizes, staring at us as though they've never seen a human before - which they probably haven't. One of the older pups grrrr's and they all scramble into a  tunnel dug into the earth under the power train of an ancient tractor. 

These puppies belong to the wild dogs that live behind Gloria's barn. We've got to catch them, and it must be done before the mama-dogs come back and rip us to shreds.

Gloria and I race to the barn for a crate. When we get back, we see Martin and Linda on the far side of the fence holding three squirming puppies. I climb through the barbed wire and the Great Puppy Capture is underway. Martin chases down two escapees hiding in the briar patch and Linda discovers a second entrance into the tunnel. She kneels on the tractor parts, and hangs over the hole while  Martin jabs inside the tunnel with a weather beaten fence rail. A rusty ironing board is our walkway across the gully.Each time a puppy tries to make a break, Linda scoops it up, hands it to Martin, he hands it to me, I hand it to Gloria, and she puts it in the crate. 

Jab-Scoop-Pass. We're at it for almost two hours. Things do not go smoothly. When the remaining puppies refuse to budge, we dig through disintegrating bags of trash with our bare hands, trying to break through the roof of the tunnel. Linda gets bitten. I fall and land on my butt inside a car wheel. Our arms are scratched and we've got ticks in our hair. 

At last we've got all but four of the puppies. The crate if filled to capacity and we're suffering from heat prostration. Martin and I struggle to carry the crate up the steep hill. Linda and Gloria straggle behind. We load the crate onto the back of a pickup and drive it around to unload in a kennel inside Gloria's yard. The catch of the day was 15 of these:  




And these:



And these:




The next day we went back for the rest of the gang, but they were gone. The mama-dogs have hidden them so we'll never find them. But then, that's what they thought about this hobo camp, is it not?


    

Comments

Who are you fooling? Women can't suffer from heat prostration; they don't have prostates!
Oh, that's right, I meant heat cramps!
Cute puppies, BTW, but no, I can't take one... :-(

(Anonymous)

Some day, Eric, you will take one of these little guys. You might as well suck it up and and do it now!
They are cute little monkeys.