The Day of the Wild Dogs

Today’s post comes from Verily Sherrilee

The safari experience in South Africa is amazing. At most camps there are two “runs” a day, one right at dawn and one as night falls. They pile you into large stadium seating jeeps and head off into the bush, complete with blankets and sometimes hot bricks for your feet. The drivers and guides know a tremendous amount about the animals in each of their reserves, including where the “cut line” is – the seemingly invisible boundary of each park.  They constantly radio back and forth with other jeep drivers about what animals they’ve seen and where they are.  It’s quite a ride.


On the last day of my trip back in 2007, the client wasn’t feeling well and decided she didn’t want to get up for the last run before we had to pack up and head back to Johannesburg. That left just me and the program Account Executive on the jeep. As we were heading out, our driver Million said that he had heard some chatter the day before from another reserve just to the north of our reserve that they had seen wild dogs. Solee Wild dogs hadn’t been seen for a couple of months on “our side” of the cut line but did we want to take a chance?  Million was very clear that #1, we’d have to hightail it up to the cut line in order to make it back in time for breakfast and #2, we absolutely could not cross the cut line so if the wild dogs were in the next park then we’d be out of luck. Account Exec and I both agreed we should go for it.


Luck was with us. We actually saw some animals on the way and then the whole pack of wild dogs was on our side of the cut line. As this wasn’t enough luck, the pack had quite a few pups. Million parked the jeep about 20 feet away and we sat still and quiet for over an hour, watching the dogs come and go from the clearing.  Some of the pups were very curious and advanced pretty closely on the jeep. All of my pictures were taken without a view finder as I’d dropped the camera the night before and damaged it; I just kept holding it out and clicking away.  My luck continued to hold as I managed to get several fairly decent shots that morning.

We practically flew back to the lodge and tried SO hard not to gloat to the client about our morning’s experience. I don’t know how successful we were.

When has luck been on your side?

43 thoughts on “The Day of the Wild Dogs”

  1. Safari…crossing the Serengeti-no road just compass…driving toward the sought after land marker “lion rock” en route. Luck=a lioness with cubs was sunning…I had that experience and have photos.

    Closer to home…during our warm weather spell the lake thawed. As it always begins in our little cove we are greeted first by the visiting Buffleheads, Greebs, Mallards,Canadian Geese and when we are lucky Swan. This year we were graced with two Swan…just for a day. My brother came to his cabin the day after that Swan visit. He experienced the ice melt from the lake…heard and saw the return of our two resident loons…our eagles greeted flying overhead to perch in his giant White Pine. This was his first ever Spring here and his health has been pricarious to say the least…SO…I think luck was on his side. And mine…to experience his joy.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Ah hah…I neede to click an icon…I think. I’m going to be a real lest but I want to know if it works this time. I think I need to add an image to my slilyss rather than that green ‘thing’

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Luck is not on my side today…but I’m going at it again…begging your pardon for my computer ignorance…and thanking you in advance for your indulgence knowing full well you may be…um…irritated.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I was pretty darn lucky 44 years ago in the fall of 1972 when fate put my wife-to-be and I into the same class in a high school of 2500 students, where one could easily matriculate for three years and never meet the vast majority of those 2500.

    We became instant friends, started dating after high school graduation, and we’ll celebrate 38 years together on June 17.

    Any other good fortune that has come/may come my way was/will be just gravy.

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 7 people

  5. Luck has favored me more than my conscious decisions.
    A couple years ago I would have called it luck to see eagles at close range. Now they are common here.
    Let fortune favor my wife when she gets a phone call from a doctor today.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Finally got the phone call. she needs some surgery for reasons I will not go into. All the other news, such as possible cancer, was very good.

      Liked by 5 people

  6. No thoughts about ‘luck’ at the moment… but I do have comments on wild dogs.
    Our township is in discussions with the county about stray dogs. The city has a ‘dog pound’ but they only pick up dogs within the city limits.
    So if there is a dangerous dog outside city limits it’s up to each township to deal with it.
    I have picked up my share of dogs. (Oddly, just the one cat that MiG has).
    But I remember getting a call one day from a deputy saying ‘There’s a dog here seems to be mean; it doesn’t like men.’ And I responded ‘SO WHY ARE YOU CALLING ME??’
    I’ve been lucky none of the dogs have really been that mean. They didn’t always like my dogs. But they were ok to me. I guess I’ve been lucky that way.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. I had two parents who adored each other and were consistently loving to me. Nobody’s home life is perfect, but I grew up in a family that was stable and affectionate. For much of my life I didn’t know how lucky that was. I know now.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Sending any luck I may have today to Sandy waiting for that call and Familia Anna, who have an MIA kitten.

    If that little furball would just let them know where she is, I am sure she eould be helped to a cozier spot and lots of treats.

    C’mon kitty, help Anna help you!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I am often a day late or a dollar short when it comes to luck. But there is one travel gem from a trip to New Zealand back in the mid 90s. Several in our group had taken a flight seeing trip to Mt. Cook – landing on the glacier. We had perfect weather – not a cloud in the sky. But the lucky part was heading to our next destination. We had a scheduled photo stop at a small church on a lake, from which sometimes there is a view of Mt. Cook (called Aotea in the native language -“Cloud Piercer”). It was pretty cloudy over the mountains when we stopped but to our astonishment, there was the peak of Aotea piercing the clouds. Apparently it doesn’t happen very often. Too bad this was before the age of digital photography or I would have a better photo of it.

    My friends and I felt very lucky on the Brazil trip to have such a small group (6 total) who got along famously and who had a fantastic tour director. We are certainly spoiled for future travel.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. While working on a project, I cut myself quite deeply. The wound required 8 stitches which the ER staff deftly executed. Where’s the luck? The procedure room was a scant few inches away. I simply crawled under the plastic tarp and there I was. The nurse brought the paperwork in along with the implements. Sown up and back to work in less than half an hour. This is how “luck” works for me. The damage I cause is minimized by other circumstances. “Time and unforseen occurrence befall us all.” Ecclesiastes

    Liked by 5 people

    1. My cousin, as a teen in tiny town Iowa, and two friends were bored one summer and fired up an old steam engine (?) – something encased in cast iron at any rate. Got so hot they couldn’t touch the door handle, so they thought they’d pour cold water on it. Blew up and he almost lost his leg. Nearest (small town also) hospital happened to have a surgeon who had worked on plenty of guys from land mine accidents in WW II. He never played baseball again, but he walked away from it.

      Liked by 3 people

  11. There have been a bunch of times… One big one: we found this wonderful house/yard because Husband helped a co-worker move into the one next door. When he saw the back yard from hers, he said “let me know if that house next door ever comes up for sale.” The next year it did.


  12. There are those who say that luck has nothing to do with it, and then there are those who say luck favors those in motion; perhaps it’s the same sentiment?

    I do think, though, that those of us who have had the good fortune to be in good health most of our lives, often fail to recognize how lucky we are.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I had good luck landing a job where I worked closely with too great farmer’s, Dick and Sharon Thompson, doing educational work in agriculture. I also had good luck when I was picked to do volunteer agricultural work in Bulgaria, Azerbaijan, and Bolivia where I had great experiences seeing those countries as a guest of the people I worked with in those countries.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I feel very lucky these days, well, some days or parts of days.

    I have a final project due a week from tomorrow. I haven’t had tons of fun in this class, but I’m loving the final project. For the project we have to turn in what the teacher calls a Photo Series i.e. 100 pictures, with 5 “Final” photos, all on one theme. We chose our own themes and I chose Nature in the City.

    Well, I’m having a blast walking around and shooting things. All this rain has brought out so much GREEN – and my soul was starved for Color after the past several months of seeing nothing but brown and gray.

    Last week, on a gray, misty day, I went to Lake Hiawatha and then walked downstream along Minnehaha Creek. It was so Green, so beautiful, and very few people were out and about. Today was another gray, wettish day, and I went to the creek again, this time south of the falls. Again, so much Green and I even saw some marsh marigolds in bloom and got to slop through some mud. As I was returning to my car, I realized that jaunts like this bring me to an altered state of consciousness: I feel so different when I do this. I feel lucky that I can walk and shoot and see beautiful things. I feel lucky that I can get a “high” by doing something so simple.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I would wish we could walk it together now, but I know that it’s terribly boring for other people to be with me while I shoot. It takes me ages to cover a short distance and I make frequent stops and detours.


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