Baby-sitting a water buffalo | SierraSun.com
YOUR AD HERE »

Baby-sitting a water buffalo

My boss went out of town last week, which means I got to do one of my favorite things ” watch his pet water buffalo.

Now, technically, my boss refers to his pet as a Great Dane-Labrador mix. But if you saw Ozzie running down the trail toward you, you would think he was the love child of a slobbery moose and a black panther.

So taking care of the animal, who is extremely well behaved ” for a water buffalo ” requires certain techniques.



I tend to avoid the more populated dog walking locations. If I go to the Martis Valley, I head to a more secluded section to exercise the water buffalo and my year-old chocolate Lab.

And, in case any rangers or animal control personnel are reading this, I’ve got both creatures on a leash, and fitted with diapers so that no digested Alpo ends up polluting the creeks.



No matter how friendly Ozzie is, there is something about a diapered water buffalo stampeding through Martis Valley that prompts blood-curdling screams from strolling nature hikers.

One of my fears ” and one of the principal reasons I stay in out-of-the-way dog walking spots ” is that I will round a corner with the two beasts, and a Steve Irwin-type park ranger will confront me.

“‘Ey mate, can’t be walking water buffalo in the Martis Valley,” the Aussie park ranger says in my worst-case scenario daydream.

“But it’s a Great Dane,” I respond.

The ranger begins circling Ozzie like a startled fiddler crab while radioing in on his walkie talkie for backup.

I imagine the “Water Buffalo Tactical Crisis Unit” mobilizing out of the Animal Control headquarters in Truckee as I try to give the ranger a quick zoology lesson in the differences between canines and ruminants.

As the sirens approach and Animal Control begins unloading their elephant guns and harpoons, I make a dash for it.

Ozzie and my dog follow me, their diapers making a strange squishing sound as they overtake me.

OK, maybe I’m a little loony. Or maybe I’ve spent too much time walking dogs out in the nether reaches of the woods. But I never want to have to explain to my boss how Steve Irwin arrested his dog, backed by harpoon-wielding Animal Control employees.

“They thought he was a water buffalo,” I’d offer in explanation.

Somehow, I don’t think he’d believe me.


Support Local Journalism

 

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and beyond make the Sierra Sun's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

For tax deductible donations, click here.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User