There are many, many animals here at Ft. Harrington. Three of them are dogs. Two of those, Emma and Jax, are special beyond expression, and are loved to an extent that would probably be considered obscene in poverty-ridden places.
But they are not My Dog, with a capital M and a capital D. That distinction goes to Kelsey and to Kelsey only. However, Kelsey is not cute by any stretch of the word's use, nor is he the product of multi-generations' planned breeding. He's a mutt, one found wandering in a pack in an industrial area eleven years ago. Taken to the nearest shelter, he wasn't given much chance of being re-programmed to be a good family pet.
Through a long series of co-incidences, though, he wound up in the high forests of the Santa Cruz Mountains, in a place where he could be some of what he wanted to be, and sacrifice an acceptable amount of the other things: he could be a watchdog, a guardian, a protector... and a lesser member of a pack (not expected to be the alpha, which he was never cut out to be.)
His first two or three years here at Ft. Harrington were tough for all of us, but he eventually learned his place, and our place, and the place of all the other animals here. And so we all have enjoyed a decade of great, great joy: Kelsey in his place, and us in ours, and love and confidence and joy.
He doesn't get much play here, or over on Flickr, or on PicShers, because he's such a working part of our Fort. But he deserves more, so here are recent pictures of Kelsey-the-Dog: (click, please, on each of them to be taken to larger views):