LEIGON: The Big White Dog

JANUARY 31, 2019 ~ Lilac Oaks Campground

Leigon

There is part of the story I left out of my write-up from Lilac Oaks Campground. I had hesitated on including this, but right up until our departure, this big character had been a welcome part of our stay. 

On our first afternoon at the campground, we had just gotten set up and were enjoying watching the ducks in the pond when a VERY LARGE white dog wandered up to me. He was enormous, big blue eyes, and a long coat. He was one of the largest dogs I had ever seen. He was so big that I voiced that he might be part wolf, however his coloring probably belied that notion. More likely he is a shepherd and/or great pyrenees and husky combo.

He was wearing a collar, with his name on it. We made the assumption that he probably belonged to one of the permanent residents in the RV Park.

He was gentle, well-mannered, would sit on command, however appeared to have rather severe hip dysplasia and was slow to rise.

What stood out to us most was that he was painfully skinny. I had been feeding the ducks, so of course we also offered him a bit of food. We did notice that whenever he came close to us, that whatever ducks were feeding quickly took off into the water.

After getting a bit of attention, he wandered a few feet away and lay down beside our RV, watching us but not being a pest.

Later in the evening one of the park personnel stopped by to empty the trash cans and offered us trash bags. He spotted Leigon and shooed him off, saying he did not belong there and that someone “on the other side of the hill” owned him. They would call the owner periodically and he may or may not come and get him a few days later.

Sure enough, the next morning he was there again to greet us.

We left mid-morning for our lunch at a nearby winery. As we were leaving the restaurant, I noticed a sign that said “dog friendly”. They also offered that you could purchase either a chicken or beef dinner for your dog for $4.95. It came with noodles???

Of course I could not resist, and ordered a chicken dinner to take back for Leigon. I’m not sure what kind of seasoning they put on the noodles to make them appealing to dogs, but they stunk up the entire car…

We did not see him at all that evening and both Karen’s leftovers and his special meal were left uneaten.

But the next morning, bright and early he was back. We were getting rather attached to him and enjoyed seeing him get a solid meal. Well, part of it anyway, he too must have thought that the noodles were unappetizing as he ate the chicken and left the rest.

Leigon eating his special meal (except for the noodles)

My story would have probably ended here, but for one last episode with him shortly before we broke camp. Karen and I had decided to walk around the pond so I could get a picture of our campsite from the other side.

Leigon tagged along with us.

All of a sudden we spotted a rooster, a hen and a silkie down near the water. Leigon took off at a full run after them. Karen screamed at him, “NO” and to stop to no avail and he managed to capture a mouthful of feathers from the hen. We still don’t know if the hen survived, as it was by this time hidden in the cattails.

He then took off after the rooster, who also managed to get just out of his reach, or so we hoped.

The four of us were upset by the episode, and Tim explained to me that once a dog starts killing chickens it is impossible to get them to stop.

We completed packing up, Leigon was no where in sight, and as we were pulling out, Karen caught sight of him, running past them with the rooster in his mouth.

Bad Dog!!!

In that moment he went from being a big friendly dog to a big S^!t in our minds.

Tim, ever the philosopher, stated that the chickens at the pond probably had a better life, living free in nature, than the ones butchered and sold in grocery stores.

Today I am still torn by the entire episode. After all, we still eat some meat, in fact had dined on BBQ chicken ourselves only a night or two earlier. And Leigon was painfully skinny so perhaps this was how he was surviving.

GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful that in the midst of this week, I got to spend an afternoon with a dear friend I have known since childhood. Alecia (Buonocore) Elvstad graduated High School with me and we have been fortunate to get to see each other about once a year. I’m really irritated at myself however because we had such a wonderful visit that I failed to stop talking long enough to get my camera out so someone could snap a photo of us.

She brought me the cutest gift, that I can at least share photos of the bag and coasters with you.

The artist. Lori Hill, is a good friend of Alecia’s. In case you are interested in some of her wonderful hand painted art, here is the contact information:

How to contact Lori Hill at Red Door Home II

COMING NEXT: YUCAIPA REGIONAL PARK CAMPGROUND

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About Tim and Joanne Joseph

Hi and welcome! We are Tim and Joanne Joseph and we have just embarked on our "next chapter". At a stage in life where traveling the world, taking pictures, and sharing our adventures with friends and family will be our dream come true.
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19 Responses to LEIGON: The Big White Dog

  1. This not about what’s natural or proper. That dog is being abused and neglected. The dog should not be roaming free and it should not be killing chicken. However, that dog is not unlike a child in that if he has never been taught otherwise, and he’s allowed to do it, he doesn’t know any better. Shame on the owners. I suspect he’s skinny and hungry from parasites the neglectful owner doesn’t give him preventative medicine for. Poor puppy.

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  2. joylennick says:

    I agree with the above. The dog owner should be prosecuted for treating it so badly. Poor animal.
    You two certainly see life, and it’s there for all to see if they have the desire and wherewithal to travel. May you enjoy good health and sturdy legs on your journeys. I don’t always have time to comment (am writing another book) but I do look at your wonderful pictures from time to time.. Cheers! Joy xx

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  3. lulu says:

    Initially, I thought you might have a new pet that had touched your heart, but as the story evolved it became obvious he would be left behind though somewhat sorrowfully perhaps.

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  4. KT says:

    I could fall in love with those eyes. Wow!

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  5. Mike Alesko says:

    Wow what a story. And I remember Alecia. A sweet girl.

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  6. catshill says:

    We once had a Siberian Husky whom we loved very much. We also had chickens but they were contained in a coup and enclosure. No so my daughter’s pet duck. Almost all the time the dog was either in the house or with us so we didn’t think we had a problem. One day I let the dog out to do her business and as I was busy with something inside, I didn’t go out with her. Within minutes I heard a loud racket and looked outside. Cina (the husky’s name) had my daughter’s now dead duck in her mouth. I immediately called the animal shelter. I did make sure she got a good home with someone who knew the traits of Siberian Huskies. Found out that Siberian Huskies are notorious small animal killers. We were very lucky our little duck was the only animal she killed.

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  7. joliesattic says:

    He looks like a white coyote in that last photo. We had black coyotes in Alabama and if it is a white coyote or mix, I’m surprised he’s docile at all. People in those outlying areas do tend to leave their dogs free and ferule like , mostly to contain other critters.
    When we had chickens, the neighbors dog (a small, older terrier), came after my chickens and killed three before I could stop her. She brought along with her this new cocker spaniel puppy, to teach it the ropes, I guess. We cornered the puppy in the pen and scolded him harshly. (Linda was fast and got away) He was terrified and shamed because he liked us a lot. Later on he came to us, tail tucked in and apologized. He never did it again. My friend told me that if you tie the dead chicken around it’s neck for a few days, it will quit doing that, because yes, once they start, they never stop.
    Thanks for sharing. I can understand your hesitation to share. I’ve had similar experiences and they do tend to haunt.

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  8. If his owners weren’t bothering to look after him, he had to get something to eat somehow… I know you fed him, but he’s probably learned that kind people are only temporary and sooner or later he’ll need to fend for himself again.

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