White Deer Twins on the Riverwalk

White Deer Twins on the Riverwalk
These rare white deer twins were born this summer and have found a safe home at Dan Daniel Park and on the Riverwalk
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My name is David Hoffman. I teach English and journalism at Averett University, but I have two side interests - writing and photography. I also enjoy walking daily with my English setter, Sadie, and my wife, Elizabeth, on the Danville, Virginia, Riverwalk. As a novice to studying nature, I am fascinated by the slightest facets of the great outdoors, but most of my pictures are of birds - I don't know a lot about them, but I am learning more and enjoying taking pictures of them daily. I also take pictures of plants, other animals, and insects. All pictures posted for each day were taken on the day of my blog entry.

Leave a comment if you have the time or e-mail me at dhoffman@averett.edu


Monday, July 12, 2010


(JULY 12, 2010) This morning, since I didn't take my camera to the Riverwalk, I used Sadie's longer leash. It gives her a chance to run a little more and get more exercise than the shorter one that keeps her nearby.

The problem with the longer leash is that she often gets tangled up around a tree or a bush, and I have to untangle her. Over the years, however, she has learned to heed the leash and avoid getting into such messes, and when I make a clicking sound, she will move herself around the tree and avoid getting tangled up. However, there are times when she just doesn't understand that she just needs to back up and untangle herself.

This morning we had just entered the "dark woods," and she was jumping around in the woods, avoiding entanglements. However, we had gone no more than a quarter mile when she had moved around a tree. Her Pekingese doggie friend, Lucky, was coming towards us, and she saw nothing but Lucky and moved towards the dog.

She wasn't getting anywhere because the leash was around the tree, and I was on the other side of the tree. Stubborn minds were at work here. I called for her to come around the tree; she kept pushing forward towards Lucky. This continued for 20-30 seconds, and the leash on her side got shorter and shorter until, with each short lunge, she was banging her head against the tree. This happened twice before I realized what she was doing, so I eased up on the leash, walked around the tree, and we went to meet Lucky.

I thought "dumber than dirt."

Of course, I wasn't referring to Sadie, but to myself. She had outsmarted me and accomplished what she wanted which was for me to save her from the mess she was in.


Last night, around 9:00, I took Sadie outside to do what she needed to do before bedtime. She has a propensity of going forth and sniffing anything in the driveway that may even resemble a small living creature - bug, frog, lizard. Last night she wandered upon a small knot on the driveway that was a very small frog.

She pulled on the leash to sniff it - the frog didn't move. She pointed at it, and I pulled her away, but she lunged forward and, unfortunately, put the frog in her mouth - immediately spitting it out.

Why did she spit it out?

(FLASHBACK) A couple of years ago Sadie saw a frog in the driveway, put it in her mouth, and then spit it out. Immediately, her mouth started foaming like a mad dog.

Being very concerned for her health, I went immediately to the internet and read about frogs and what happens when dogs put them in their mouths. I had feared that she might die from frog poisoning. Well, what I read was that there are no truly poisonous frogs in this area and that when a dog does get a frog in its mouth, the frog releases a distasteful liquid that doesn't kill the animal, but the animal, for about 10-15 minutes, wishes she were dead because of the awful taste left in her mouth.

Last night, this happened again. Sadie started foaming and spitting (as well as a dog can spit). We went immediately in the house, and I gave her a bone to chew on, hoping that the bone would help get rid of the bad taste. After about 15 minutes, sure enough, she was much better.


Yep, it was two years ago that she had tasted a frog, yet she still went for this small frog and got "mad dog" mouth.

DUMBER THAN DIRT. Lessons are not easily learned.

Oh, again, when I say "DUMBER THAN DIRT," I'm not referring to Sadie but to myself. I could have kept her away from the toad, but I didn't. I let her pursue her interest in the small amphibian, and I should have known better.

Twice in two days I have been "DUMBER THAN DIRT" around Sadie. She, on the other hand, is much wiser than I am.

It was another good day on the Riverwalk.

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