This is Smokie. This time last year she was still a pup. Just 7 months old. Still skinny enough to slip through the gaps in the iron fence. She also had learned a much easier trick for escaping. Just above her head in this picture, you can see the gate latch. It's one of those that is a push/latch closure. It has to be slammed to close properly. She quickly figured out how to pull on the bottom of the gate to see if it was latched. If not, she'd simply pull the gate and slip through as it swung open. Last year she saw something in the pasture that she just couldn't resist.
She saw this deer. Well, really she saw another deer---a young buck, and gave chase. Just as she and the buck reached to upper part of the pasture, this doe jumped up out of the tall grass. If you know anything about does this time of year, it's that they will face down anything that threatens their fawns. Evidently, she had been resting with her fawn and Smokie unwittingly ran across them. Does have been known to kill dogs. They were two acres away and there was nothing I could do but scream. Smokie busted it back toward me, with this doe in hot pursuit. Smoke zigged and zagged while I ran that way, trying to confuse the doe. Smoke managed to find a large bush in the middle of the pasture to hide under, just as the doe was about to fill her with hoof-size holes. I was able to get uncomfortably close to this protective mama. She realized she was outdone and headed back to her baby.
Did Smoke learn a valuable lesson from that encounter? No! She barks like a maniac when this doe comes up for the short grasses of the pasture. Sometimes I want to let her out to remind her that the deer is bigger than her and not something to be harassed. Smokie just wants to prove to the doe that she's the boss and that she'll take a bite of deer hiney if she gets any closer to the house. The doe just ignores her. She remembers last year's encounter. Smokie does too. She wants a rematch.