So now the gopher who lives there, "G-5", has a long sloping driveway down to the main entrance.
Nothing against the rattlers, but Bear is a very private pooper and he likes to tuck in to the bushes to "get busy".
I always worry when he does that around palmettos since rattlers are so fond of resting among them. Burning the dead fronds away makes this spot a little less cozy for the big diamondbacks.
On one Bear walk this weekend, I spied the elusive G-7 gopher ... about 100 feet in front of us. He had sensed us first and was making a bee line for the safety of his huge burrow.
Unfortunately, Bear spotted him at almost the exact same time.
I had Bear on a 30 foot training lead and it was all I could do to hang on as he raced for the tortoise. He got there first of course.
Poor G-7 simply stopped and tucked in all his parts. Bear was all slobberized and droolslingy by then. G-7 is one huge gopher, but Bear picked him up in his ginormous jaws for a moment before I got there.
I grabbed Bear by the collar and we did this circle dance around the gopher for a while. I wish you could feel the power in this dog.
He's pretty amazing when he gets into "inner wolf" mode.
He's pretty irritating too, since while in wolf mode,, he apparently goes deaf to the sound of human voices.
G-7 is a large male gopher who I never seem to catch out of his burrow, although the evidence of fresh excavation work is always present. I was thrilled to find him out even if he was not crazy about our encounter. The video shows that eventually, G-7 did make it back to his snug home.
It also shows that Bear was able to refocus on the orginal task of trail running and sniffing stuff.
So, now that my gophers have names like G-1, G-2, etc, I will introduce you to individual tortoises as we cross paths this year.
Like reality TV, only without any drama at all.