Friday, March 28, 2008

The Alpha

Spreading your scent around is very important in the dog world. If the other dog scent is a stranger, the purpose is to mark territory and let others know you were there... a virtual doggie news broadcast.

In a pack situation, the senior / stronger dogs always cover the scent of the weaker dogs. I see this all the time hiking with Hank & Sue. Sue's scent is never allowed to be left unmarked. Usually Hank will cover it and then Mabel. If Hank goes after Mabel, she will circle back and cover his scent as well. Meaning she (and most assuredly Sue) views herself as the Alpha, the strongest dog in our pack. Hank, being the only boy sometimes likes to think he's the Alpha, but even he would agree that it's really Mabel.

The other morning, I had a huge glass of iced tea before heading out to the creek and before you know it, nature was calling my name. I am a country girl, raised hiking, camping, hunting and fishing. I have no qualms about doing my business in the great outdoors. I just find a relatively private spot and do the deed.

As I was adjusting my clothing, Mabel comes along, sniffs the ground and covered all evidence of my presence.

So, I guess we now know where I rank in the pack...


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Annie said...

Hey, I should try that when I take my little dog out for a walk. Of course, we usually walk through our city neighborhood :-)

Anonymous said...

Yup, now you know! ;-) I wonder what she'd do if you covered HER scent?

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

Annie, Yeah... I don't think the neighbors would appreciate that!

Janet, I thought about it but I generally don't hold back when I go so there was nothing left to cover with! LOL!

Linda@VS said...

I can see two possibilities for Mabel's actions: (a) she thinks she ranks higher than you in the pack, or (b) it had nothing to do with rank; Mabel just didn't want any of her friends to know you'd done a thing like that. ;)

Ah, I envy the freedom!

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

Velvet, While I prefer to think it's the rank thing, on second thought, it probably IS embarrassment on her part!

Duly Inspired said...

I'd have to pull my pants back down and "mark" the spot again -- just to show her. Funny story!