• 1rez_dog_scenarios_text_12_11_web


  • THE Burger King #1

    THE Burger King #1

    This Rez Dog used a practiced pose to convince me that I did not, in fact, want to eat the Double Whopper w Cheese. I didn't. See next image...

  • THE Burger King #2

    THE Burger King #2

    What does it say when even a starving Rez Dog wouldn't eat the bun from a Double Whopper with Cheese? Despite obvious signs of prolonged starvation, he ate with perfect manners and patience I couldn't imagine...

  • THE Burger King #3

    THE Burger King #3

    Once this dog had eaten my dinner, the fleas suddently became an issue again. When starving fleas are a distraction. Once the hunger is alleviated, the itching became top priority and this Rez Dog stretched and scratched like a family pet. See next image...

  • THE Burger King #4

    THE Burger King #4

    Once this dog had scored my dinner (I'd completely lost my appetite by this point), she was off to beg another meal because when you live out in the open on the Rez, you take what you can get when you can get it.

  • Lame Worker #1

    Lame Worker #1

    Guarding sheep doesn't always require movement. Working Rez Dogs conserve energy and these two found a nice spot out of the wind shortly after dawn. See next image...

  • Lame Worker #2

    Lame Worker #2

    This working Rez Dog didn't have use of it's hind right leg but didn't appear to be hindered in the least. You could imageine him thinking, "He's got food. He's gonna give me some food. Oh boy, free food..." See next image...

  • Lame Worker #3

    Lame Worker #3

    After patiently watching me fumble in the cooler, it wouldn't be difficult to imageine this Rez Dog thinking, "For Pete's sake, open the package... hopefully today. Are you stupid? Open the package and give me a granola bar..."

  • Silent Pups #1

    Silent Pups #1

    While the pups played, oblivious to the potential danger, this Rez Dog mother did her best to drive me away from her den. This shot was taken with a long lens but I backed well away to indicate that I wasn't a threat - after leaving a pile of frozen hot dogs and water. See next image...

  • Silent Pups #2

    Silent Pups #2

    Despite backing well away, this Rez Dog mother still considered me a threat. Although was clearly starving, the food I'd left went untouched while she continued to drive me away. See next image...

  • Silent Pups #3

    Silent Pups #3

    One minute this female Rez Dog was loudly trying to drive me away from her litter... then she was gone and everything went quiet. If they weren't going to eat the food I'd left, I intended to take it with for the next Rez Dog encounter. As I moved closer, I noticed that she'd positioned herself where she could hide, protect her den, and still be visible enough to let me know she was still there defending her young. This seemed like a good time for me to leave, so I left the food and left her to (hopefully) raise her litter in peace.

  • Fight and Flight #1

    Fight and Flight #1

    It was both a good day and a bad day for this RezDog. He'd found a carcass to scavenge but I was there - and people are often to be feared on the Rez. This male repeatedly charged and retreated trying to force me off the meal. See next image...

  • Fight and Flight #2

    Fight and Flight #2

    Scavenging represents easy protein but this carcass had been picked clean of almost all food value. These dogs typically have extremely worn front teeth and gnawing at bones can be painful and despite the nutritional value of the marrow inside. See next image...

  • Fight and Flight #3

    Fight and Flight #3

    Protein does not go to waste on the Rez and previous scavengers hadn't left much for this male. The only good news was that I was no threat and the body was far enough from the road that there was little risk of this Rez Dog becoming road kill himself. This time.

  • Hot Rack #1

    Hot Rack #1

    Economic conditions on the Rez are poor and spay/neuter is an expensive procedure. Consequently, those that own dogs tend to have quite a few. These dogs lived better than most but a space in the doghouse goes only to the strong. See next image...

  • Hot Rack #2

    Hot Rack #2

    Rez Dogs are smart - the dominant male remained comfortably positioned at home so he could keep an eye on me and evaluate what happened to the sacrificial scout sent to see whether I was a threat or a good guy with food.

  • Petey and Pal

    Petey and Pal

    Do Rez Dogs hunt in packs? Some are loners, some hunt in pairs, and some in packs (insert deeper meaning here). "Petey" (in black) hunted with a partner when he found me at a gas station on the Navajo Rez. The answer is "Rez Dogs hunt in whatever way works for them." It's why they're still alive to hunt at all... See next image...

  • Petey


    It was no surprize to find Rez Dogs scrounging for food at a remote gas station on the Navajo Rez. The dogs congregate where people congregate to maximize the chances of an easy meal. The surprise was that this particular animal had survived the severe injuries to his face and neck. He was one of the most happy-go-lucky Rez Dogs I've ever met.

  • Before the Hunt

    Before the Hunt

    This Rez Dog wandered aimlessly along the back road to the Hovenweep National Monument. The picture of leisure, he stopped only to nip at fleas, take a dirt bath or simply lie in the sun. See next image...

  • On the Hunt

    On the Hunt

    During the dirt bath, this Rez dog's lethargy disappeared in a flash when he spotted movement in the bushes. Almost before I could track the lens, he ran off over the hill in chase of his prey.

  • One of Two

    One of Two

    This Rez Dog worked as half of a very effective team. He and his partner covered the gas station in Kayenta, AZ in a practiced sweep that impressive to watch. They shared my last pack of hot dogs, lingered a few minutes to make sure no more food was coming, and ignored me completely from there. See next image...

  • Two of Two

    Two of Two

    This Rez Dog had clearly survived longer than most. Remember that the scar tissue around his eye healed without the help of a vet. Can your dog do that? See next image...

  • Both


    Once these Rez Dogs had tapped out my hot dogs, they positioned themselves nicely for the next pack of tourists. Try ignoring them. It won't work.

Rez Dog Scenarios