Photos and text copyright Romping and Rolling in the Rockies 2009-2017.

All photographs and text within this blog are copyrighted.

You may not copy or repost any photos or text without specific permission from the author of this blog. When in doubt, please ask.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Shyla - The Moose Alerter

You are used to seeing photos of Shyla galloping through the forest, looking like a perpetual motion machine.
On the day that we left for the desert, she and I were on the trails. She was a little ahead of me. I looked up, and she had planted herself in the middle of the trail in a "sit". Her ears were perked up, and she looked intently at something ahead of her. This behavior was completely novel for her.

So, I followed her gaze, and I saw a trio of moose at least 40 yards ahead of us. I quickly turned around, and Shyla and I backtracked.

I think that she'd been badly scared by two recent incidents, one of which I wrote about here. I didn't write about what happened on the very next day. I'd decided that Shyla needed to stay very close to me until the moose situation had calmed down so I had her in a "heel", which means that she was directly behind my bike on a singletrack path.

As we descended the very same route as we'd just climbed, our local mother moose barreled out of an aspen forest directly at Shyla. Shyla easily evaded her but looked terrified. I was very lucky that the mother moose didn't take out her anger on me because I couldn't have evaded her so easily. That happened the day after Shyla and I were seriously charged by the same mother moose.

I'm guessing that those two events combined to make Shyla extremely wary of moose. I would love if her "default behavior" when she senses moose in the future is to sit stationary. Only time will tell if she repeats that stellar warning system for me.

I was reminded of that event because I checked a trail camera the other day that showed the trio of moose actually fleeing! Mother moose was first.

This year's calf was not far behind.

And last year's calf, a single-antlered bull, was last in the trio.

Here's a better look at last year's calf.
I was left wondering what on Earth would cause moose to flee! They certainly don't flee when faced with me and the Duo. I wonder if they flee if they sense people before the people see them. Given the time of day in the photos above, it might have been a hiker who startled them. I am sorry to report that my trail camera gave me no insight into the cause of their flight - no one else passed it all day long.

Here's to Shyla learning to "tell" me when moose are around!

I had my test today, and I don't know the results yet. The results should help guide the next decisions. Thanks for all the great thoughts and comments. My sincerest hope is that this will somehow resolve by itself. However, after 2 months, that's starting to seem like a pipe dream. And, I must admit that it's a level of pain that I can't tolerate while remaining happy.

In the meantime, I'll enjoy our winter wonderland. I'm hoping my winter adaptation kicks in soon. I've been so cold since we arrived home that I've barely been able to enjoy the sights but they've been beautiful.


  1. Hmmm.maybe Mr.Pesky Dumb Bunny scared those moose as he hightailed it out of our yard:) We are pretty sure he was headed west!

    Seriously we are so happy that Shyla has that keen sense of warning.

    We hope there is some way to provide you with some relief soon. We know that you will do what is best. Many hugs.

  2. Wow-that sounds like it must have really scared Shyla! I would have been really scared, too! What a good girl she is for warning you. I am hoping that you can finally get a plan into place to stop the pain-that's just so wrong :( sending lots of love!

  3. Wow! That's amazing! I hope Shyla continues to alert to moose for you! I also really hope that the doctors can figure out how to help you. I'm sorry that you're in so much pain!

  4. Good job, Shyla! I hope the doctors can help you.

  5. Here's to your winter adaptation returning and soon. It's far too bitter living there if you feel cold. Love the wise Shyla move. Ellie and Lucy would do that when we were hiking and there was something unfamiliar. They sat and waited for us. Unfortunately, Lucy must have been following Ellie's lead because now she runs straight forward to investigate. Thank goodness there are not too many things we need to fear in our tamer mountains. Still got fingers and paws crossed here for the best result with the most minimal invasion.

  6. 2 months, way too long for intense pain, and no matter how much, you never become adapted to it.I do hope the results will show some hope. Meantime wrap up well, and Shyla, all 100% points to you for being such a good girl. Santa will find you for sure.A calf moose,looks mighyt big to me.

  7. If Shyla continues her stellar alert, I'll have to borrow her. I've seen adult Moose without calves watching dogs from a distance (on a side trail near us) and moving away in the opposite direction. However, I've also seen a confrontation at close range when the mother moose charged the dog. Like you, I'm constantly alert when I'm on the trails - especially since I know there is a Mama with new calf.

  8. Good choice, Shyla! That's impressive.
    Just speculation, but in your habitat, I'd guess the sight or smell of a lion would cause a sudden change in moose plans.

  9. Shyla is such a wonderful dog, you are so lucky to have each other!
    Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

  10. maybe a bear has its hibernation bed in near? I hope you will get good news when the test results are in. POTP and hugs to you and the duo :o)

  11. Those Moose are beautiful. I am happy that Shyla warned you. The chances we take running into wild animals when we walk on trails and in the woods!! So amazing to see. I hope your pain gets better soon. I had a concussion and it left me with a headache for 8 months. It affects everything when you are in pain. Sending healing vibes your way!!

  12. Good job Shyla! I hope your results are something that will help you decide. It sounds like you may not have too many choices though.

  13. I would be a scared too Shyla! Those are the biggest doggies ever
    Lily & Edward

  14. That's very smart beautiful Shyla!

  15. Grreat job, Shyla! You're so smart!

  16. YAY SHyla! We are NOT fans of Moose up close!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  17. Yay, Shyla! Again, I hope you get some relief from the pain.

  18. KB, I am so sorry that they haven't found a way to help you with your pain. Sigh!
    Shyla is amazing to warn you about moose. Hopefully this will keep you both safe in the future.

  19. You are such an amazing girl, Shyla! We are hoping for the very best for you, KB.

  20. Shyla!! God job! Your smart and protecting your mom!
    KB. oh how we want you to feel better!!
    Enjoy your winter wonderland,, and thank you for thinking of us and sharing your world.


If you are a Blogger registered user, you can skip the step asking you to verify that you are not a spammer. For posts older than 5 days, I have comment moderation turned on.

Thanks for your comments!!!!!