On a sunny September day Chico and I went over to Brunswick, Maine, quite near the coast, to the member education field day of the Small Woodland Owners Association of Maine (SWOAM www.swoam.com). This is a chance for people who own land in tree growth in the State of Maine to get together and learn about forestry management, meet their peers, and honor the achievements of small woodlot owners.
It was a very informative morning for the humans and Chico enjoyed walking through the woods, though he might have preferred more walking and less talking. He ran into two other dogs and neither time was he super friendly, but things didn’t ever get out of hand aggressive either. (Chico’s dog aggression was a symptom he developed on coming to me and it’ll be discussed in other entries.) He did find the seminar on pruning quite compelling, he found a shady place to lie down and kept his eyes on the speaker.
At around noon there was a luncheon. With a little juggling of leash and plate we went through the line, got some human food, and sat down in an empty spot near the end of one of the tables. Chico lay down at my feet and waited to see if anyone dropped anything.
After lunch there was some speechifying and some awarding of plaques and certificates. With speechifying and awards come applause. When people started to applaud, Chico started to bark. He barked his sharp, shrill, excited-bark for exactly as long as people applauded. He barked every time there was something to applaud for, always only as long as the applause lasted.
When leaving, we returned to the field where everyone had parked and I let Chico off the leash because no one was around. I was busy looking up directions to the Bowdion College art gallery (where there was a show of Edward Hopper paintings. Five miles between this day of woods education and the works of one of my favorite painters – just how great is the Great State of Maine?) and Chico started to bark his look-what-I-found bark. He was barking at a tall, slender, older man, who said in his beautiful French-Canadian accent “You zihnk you scare me? You don’t scare me. And I like zee way you applaud.”