Frisky loves companionship. She is a very social creature, and in fact scores quite high on the "extrovert" end of the scale in the Myers-Briggs personality type indicator. Like most dogs, she is not very good at entertaining herself, but if another creature will interact with her, she lights up like a star going nova.
Cows are of great interest to Frisky (and she is sometimes of great interest to them), but she usually only sees them from the car window as we are driving, usually on lengthy trips, and we point them out as an easy way to keep her entertained. The dialog usually goes something like this:
"Look at the cows!"
"No, we didn't say to come up front."
"No, out the other window."
When she is close to cows, besides their enticing aroma, she really "gets into" the large, aromatic gifts they leave for her all over the place, right down on the ground where they are convenient for her to enjoy. In spite of how friendly cows seem, their enormous size still keeps Frisky in cautious mode, and she usually barely touches noses with them.
The cows pictured here are on a ranch outside of Waco. This same ranch has plenty of room for all the family dogs to play and go for hikes. Here, Frisky leads the pack, which consists of DD (for Dirty Dog) and Suzie.
Not all time is spent being rambunctious, and there are numerous chances for more intimate interaction. Frisky was never sure quite how to treat Suzie. Here was a creature the size of prey animals (like squirrels and rabbits, which are meant to be chased), but that smelled like a dog. Frisky's mental capacity was probably taxed to the limit in determining how to appropriately respond to this little enigma.
Since the ranch is a location for large family gatherings, everyone often has to wait their turn in line for various things like getting food at meals or using the bathroom. Frisky has learned some of her social skills simply by watching and following the example she sees. Here she waits patiently at the end of a line, the purpose of which has faded from our memories and probably was never too clear to Frisky in the first place.
In a complete change of setting from the sizzling hot, wide open spaces of Texas, we next show Frisky during a December visit to Illinois, where her crude puppy-like antics and uninhibited approach are a slight embarrassment to the suave and sophisticated champion Rhodesian ridgeback, Floyd, as he delicately, but expertly, ignores her.
Frisky is not a large dog, and her proximity to the ground makes it quite easy for her to notice little animals as well as large ones. This turtle in Illinois has her complete, undivided attention, whether it wants it or not.
Unlike most dogs, Frisky does not have an inate fear of snakes. She is just as curious about them as all other creatures and we have to make sure she only approaches nonpoisonous species. Here she takes a close look at a common water snake in Illinois.
Although this insect is small by comparison to Frisky, for a walking stick it is huge. These enormous 6 inch insects live high up in our live oak trees, where they feed on leaves. Every so often one will fall to the ground, where it is a source of interest to us as well as Frisky, as she treats it with the same respect she would another dog: by amicably sniffing its rear end.
We frequently meet animals while walking. Frisky has come to recognize that the main purpose of certain animals is to give her a good romp as she chases them until we get tired, while others cooperate for a closer look. Rabbits and wild turkeys are in the first category, while skunks and opossums are in the latter. Unfortunately, we wish that skunks weren't, as they might be slow, but they are, in a gross understatement, not without defence. Opossums are another matter. The more agile ones waddle off at a satisfying pace, while pregnant females and very young individuals simply play dead. This performance has given Frisky several peak experiences.
Frisky enjoys the companionship of people. After all, who else would feed her, brush her, trim her nails, clean her teeth, take care of her when she's sick, give her shelter, play with her, and of course, take her places. Just as she relies on us to drive the car for the sole purpose of taking her for rides, she also expects us to paddle her around in our kayaks so she can get a closer look at all the ducks, swans, turtles, and occasional raccoon or nutria. She has gone canoeing and kayaking on many different rivers and lakes and is an excellent swimmer, which helps when we tip over. She also sometimes takes an inadvertant plunge when she gets overly excited and climbs out onto the bow of the boat. Here, she and Larry paddle on Town Lake in Austin.
We don't want to imply that Frisky is always just a freeloader when it comes to travel. She often does her small, but important, part to assure that all is well and things run smoothly. This might consist of protecting our campsite from marauding invaders like chipmunks and squirrels, leading the way through impenetrable woods on our hikes, or, as shown here, keeping a lookout while other members of our family take a snooze after a long, hard climb up a mountain.