Dog vs. Fawn: A Tense Détente

One can certainly question the newsworthiness of videos showing pets and animals, but there’s no questioning their popularity on the Internet. And if it’s pets with animals, well that’s a sure-fire bet for a popular video.

Which is why I feel compelled to share this brief video of my dog, Blue, waiting patiently to play with a disinterested fawn.

I was walking Blue around the neighborhood yesterday — the Lower South Fork of the Shoshone River near Cody — and we came upon an adult doe. Treats, commands and the shock collar have all taught Blue not to chase deer (mainly the shock collar), and he’s pretty good about it. So when the doe took off, he trotted after it until a quick “no” brought him back.

A bit further down the road, he refused to follow me after becoming fixated on something in the tall grass. Figuring it was a rabbit or vole, I hollered a bit more then headed back his way to investigate, which is when a fawn broke cover and stepped into the road, confused and distressed.

Amazingly, Blue didn’t chase or attack the fawn, but instead wanted to play with it, lying down as he often does when meeting other dogs to signal his friendly intent. I instinctively grabbed my phone-camera and shot a few seconds of video before realizing it was not a fun experience for the fawn and dragging Blue away. The fawn, whose apparent mother had may have tried to draw us away just moments before, stood frozen in the road until we were 50 yards away.

I suppose I could take a “teachable moment” here to examine wildlife management, rural subdivisions, operant conditioning, animal cruelty or any of a dozen other lofty concepts this video might evoke, but I’ll leave that to the online commenters. Instead, I offer a few brief seconds of pet-wildlife interaction for your amusement, and some much-deserved praise for my obedient dog, Blue.

Now if I can just get him to stop digging holes in the yard.

Contact WyoFile managing editor Ruffin Prevost at 307-213-9321 or

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