Blessed and Humbled

I am so blessed, and so humbled. Dakota is ALIVE!

I found her locked up in a storage trailer. No food, no water, but safe from mountain lions and the rain she hates.

I am pretty deaf. Dakota helps me hear. She wasn’t here to help me, and she hasn’t trained the others. I will wager that will change.

I am blessed and I am humbled. Personally, I don’t like drama, I like comedy. Dakota is back, and that is what is important.

To all of those drawn into my drama, I apologize. And for all my friends who supported me through a very tough time, I am more grateful than you can know.

But more than anything, my blessed Dakota is with my physical being, as well as my spiritual one.

Damn, life in the wilderness can be dramatic.

8 thoughts on “Blessed and Humbled

  1. Har!! Extry rations, Cook, for all hands to-night says I. And a double round of rum for all, for our Dakota (bless his salty soul) has weathered the storm and returned to ship with nary a scratch!!

    Second chances, much less ones such as this, are few and far between. Be happy and stay dry up there. Peace and all blessings.

  2. That is just too outrageously wonderful! I cried harder over this post than I did over the earlier one. I know you don’t have a clue who I am, but just let me express my gratitude to you for sharing your life so generously. And I’m SO GLAD Dakota is safe!

  3. Abslotely FANTASTIC!!! Life everyday amazes me. Thank the higher power that whom ever locked Dakota in, kept her safe from the lions or worse. We will all look forward to tail wagging pictures of you, Dakota and he rest of the pack as spring turns into summer! Kate i’m really happy for you and Dakota. }}}HUG{{{

  4. Kate,
    First I want to say that I love coming home at night and reading your very informative blog. I live in Alaska and usually spend a week or so at Kirk Creek every Jan. or Feb. My favorite place on earth. Anyway, I am a wildlife biologist as you are a lawyer. We both dislike false information. I feel that you owe an apology to all Mt. lions (and I am being serious). It really sucks to get blamed for something one did not do (especially murder). It hurts all. I was extremely and honestly sorry for your loss and I am very happy for Dakota’s return. This is the first time I have ever made an entry into a blog. I hope my comments do not upset you. Take care.

  5. Well first: I’m glad Dakota has been found! There is some great Truth to this situation…do you feel that? One of the things I experienced in my 30 years of living in Big Sur, both North & South coast, is that the ‘drama’ of life there can be all-encompassing. I eventually learned on occasions like this one of yours, to pause, and allow the depth of the MEANING of the experience to surface for me. Staying grounded and centered in Big Sur takes a lot of focus and work, but is well worth it. There’s something important in this, Kathleen, and I hope you discover it.

    Second, as far as an apology to Mountain Lions, requested by Roger, well…maybe, maybe not. I know I don’t know all the details of this story…which I was going to ask for early on, but decided not to as I didn’t want to intrude on Kathleen’s grief. My curiosity was about whether there was a known presence of MtLions in the area, or even if you, Kathleen, had seen Dakota attacked. I think a story of how the conclusion was reached that Dakota fell prey to a MtLion might help. I know there must be a reason…not that you owe anyone an explanation…I am just curious. I greatly respect your (and anyone’s who lives there)connection to the place, and the intuition and awareness that comes with it. I am sure you had reason to believe a MtLion was involved….


  6. This is something I sent Roger personally, about Mountain Lions, what I have witnessed, and why I thought that is what had happened to Dakota. At “Z’s” request, I will post it publicly, for those who want to understand why I thought what I did.

    Personally, I have lost two other dogs to mountain lions (verified as I heard the attack of one, right outside my window, and found the physical evidence of the other), and my only neighbor has lost three. Mountain lions do kill dogs, and have around here. My neighbor witnessed a stalking during the daytime, which I explain below.

    I think mountain lions are some of the most beautiful critters on earth, and I honor and cherish them. I have been one of the lucky ones, and have seen mountain lions three times, fortunately, I was in my Jeep all three times.

    One of the reasons I have *four* dogs, is to keep the mountain lion at bay without harming or endangering them or our top predator. I also take every precaution, such as making sure ALL dogs are inside from before sunset, to after sunrise. But they stalked my neighbors dogs (2) in his yard, to within 20 feet of the house! Fortunately, John was able to scare her off without putting her in danger or his dogs.

    Mountain Lions attacking dogs, or deer, or whatever, is part of the natural cycle of things. She must eat. I know that. I understand. Why should I apologize to the mountain lion for thinking she did something that is part of her nature? She may not have gotten to my dog THIS time, but she has before, and may again. I have not defamed her in any way, just recognized who she is – a great predator.

    The reason I thought it was the mountain lion (and my caretaker, who has better ears than me hears her come through this portion of her territory twice a month like clock-work) is because something was in the forest, just past the cleared section, driving Dakota nuts. Her hair was up. She was barking like crazy. All 4 dogs were spread out, as they do, with Dakota on point, Bear behind her, then Miranda, then Gideon, who was by the house. These four dogs were in a line going out quite a distance. Something was here…mountain lion, bob cat, coyote, fox, something. Out of all the possibilities, it was only natural to think mountain lion, as the others would have quickly departed upon being faced by Dakota and the rest of the pack. That was the last time I saw her, before I opened the door to the storage trailer. That’s how I came to the conclusion I did.

    So, I am not sure an apology to mountain lions in general is necessary, as I have provided no “misinformation” other than being wrong about the cause of Dakota’s 3-day absence, and I did post the one re being humbled, and drawing everyone into my “drama” but I’ll be more than happy to let anyone persuade me that an apology to the reputation of mountain lions is appropriate. It is not “murder” when a predatory critter stalks and kills to fill its belly. Only people commit murder, of each other, and other critters when for trophy, rather than self-defense or to provide necessary food.

    The mountain lion, particularly this one, knows I have been living in harmony with her for a number of years. I had another one, the one I saw three times, for whom my property was part of her territory. I am sure it was her that got my other two dogs. She eventually wandered down to the highway and was hit by a car. I know it was the same one, because the nocturnal visits and cries I had heard for several years stopped. It was several years before the current one included me in her territory.

    I am not a wildlife biologist, I just happen to live in a wildlife biologist’s paradise. (I am sure Alaska, where Roger lives, is even more so.) I have seen many bobcats, foxes, coyotes, the elusive mountain lion, and untold other critters, both furry and winged. I feel blessed to be a part of this cycle of life and death. I live with it all, all the time, and would not change that, even if it kept my dogs safer. As someone wrote me, these dogs are so lucky to have all this room (120 acres surrounded by national forest), lots of fun things to do, important jobs, and a whole lot of love.

    I was going to post this as its own post, but it is so long, and only a few of you seem interested in it, so i post it here as a response. Yes, there actually are several lessons for me with this one, Z. One, is about going public with my grief; one is my relationship with my dogs; one is to check the storage trailer if anyone shows up missing; and one is to pay closer attention to what my dogs are telling me! Others will no doubt come to me.

  7. Dear Kate,

    I am so unutterably glad to read this latest chapter in Dakota’s story – and yours.


    Thank you.

  8. Oh, she’s back! What a wonderful surprise! Okay, one question for the other 3 dogs though: “Why didn’t you guys lead Kate to the storage and make her open the door?! Hmmm?” I expect that the dogs should have known Dakota was fine, but needed help getting out. 🙂

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