Doug Goodman

Texas Horror Writer. Cadaver Dog Handler.

Doug's Blog

15. Kemah Berm Trail

Posted by douggoodman on October 16, 2016 at 8:30 AM


15. Kemah Berm Trail

September 23, 2016

Distance: 1.1 Miles

Time to Hike: 25 minutes

Difficulty: Easy


The Kemah Bern is an easy little trail. The "path" is a loop at the top of a berm, which local history tells me was made from dredging out the canal for the Kemah Boardwalk. The loop was semi-covered in asphalt. Except for mowing, the path is unmaintained. Inside the loop are several different environments, from marsh to prairie to scrub forest, all within a 1 mile block, which is pretty interesting, but not as interesting as what happened before and after the trail



Every trail I've walked has been unique and interesting. I thought with the berm, I had finally found a boring trail. Not true. Every trail is an adventure.


So, like I do every time, I put together my equipment (a MULE Camelback with some tame SAR gear and random bits of food like a cup of applesauce and a protein bar from 2012). I walked out to the berm, but as I was getting close, I heard that sound that drives neighborhood runners and walkers crazy: dog barking from the front yard. Now, I've encountered many dogs, a few of which actually approached, and only one that gave me the drive-by/"I'm going to bite you next time" feel. Usually an owner is nearby who calls the dog off.


I've been looking elsewhere and not noticed the dogs. Yes, dogs. The first one is a true blue heeler. She is sitting in the bed of a trailer that has been parked at a house two doors down from me. She is barking from the very edge of the trailer, but will go no further. The fence is being worked on. I suspect she belongs to the construction crew, who is out on lunch. The second dog is much closer, only one house away from me. He is barking like crazy and charging toward me, but he is small. Then he rears up on his back legs, and I can see clearly that he is all-ears and all-paws. The puppy lands with his front paws down on the concrete, his little butt wiggling up in the air. In dog speak, he might as well have been yelling "YOU ARE THE COOLEST THING EVER AND I WANT TO PLAY!!!"


The little hound dog ran up to me wiggling, so I petted him, told him to go home, and kept walking. I passed the blue heeler, which just eye-balled me like a suspicious mom who doesn't like the look of somebody at the local playground. Like a runner being followed by a dog on Wuhu Island (go play a Nintendo Wii or Wii U if you don't know what I'm talking about), I suddenly had a little dog that had decided to follow me on the trail. While I was happy to have made a friend and to have his company, this was September, it was hot, and I didn't want the dog to overdo it. So I was happy when, about a quarter ways down the trail, he suddenly decided he really needed to get home. I finished the trail and was getting hot myself.


I thought my adventure was over, but I was wrong. I had to pass by the house on the way back, and this time the little puppy decided to follow me all the way home. I tried encouraging him to go back. Nothing doing, he was with me. So I set out some water for him at home (he'd looked pretty drained when I came out of the park and was just a yellow pancake spilled out over the road). Then I put him in the car and drove him home. This time, the blue heeler, who had barked at me every time I passed, just watched and waited. Once her little brother came out of the car, she nervously checked him out to make sure he was okay. She looked like a wreck. Poor thing. I felt bad for her. She was just doing her job and her life was miserable because nobody else did what they were supposed to do. I kept walking, and the puppy kept following. But I was happy to reunite them, and I was tired, and it was time to go home.


But not. Like the cat coming back the very next day, the puppy ran after me driving away. Another walker tried to call the puppy back, but the puppy was bound and determined to follow me. Well, it was hot, cars were starting to frequent the road, and I had other things I needed to do besides deal with a possible puppy roadkill event. So back in the car the puppy went. I took him home and put him in one of our kennels. I left a sign on the garage door of the owners. (Clearly, this was not a dog belonging to the construction crew but to the owners.) Then I went about my business.


A funny thing happened when Douglas came home. I told him that the puppy was here just until the owners came for it. Well, my son is a child. All he was concerned about was seeing the puppy, playing with the puppy, and asking what would happen if the owners didn't come for it. (Yeah, we're not keeping it.)


Awww, Da-ad!


He ran through a bunch of scenarios. The little lawyer was trying to find a scenario in which we would keep the puppy, or an argument that these were really horrible people and we should keep the puppy for them. I was beginning to get nervous that we would have to get a puppy, when we decided to let the puppy into the backyard to go to the bathroom. We had to switch dogs into kennels (mainly Ryder). From the kennel, Ryder went nuts, barking sharply at the little stranger in our house. Well, the hound dog puppy barked back. He was a hound dog, after all, and he had a voice! Soon enough, my problem was solved before it became a problem. Douglas was covering his ears and ready for the puppy to go. It was too loud for him!


To cut the story short, the owners came about a half hour later and picked up the puppy. Douglas was happy to see it go, and we don't have a new dog in the house, so it was a win-win for everyone!



Categories: 42 Trails

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