When I first arrived in Boise, I went out to find the local leash-free dog parks. I was very disappointed to learn that the city leash-free parks prohibit intact male dogs, so I went off to look for other alternatives.
Turns out that there is a large park called the Military Reserve that has a off-leash area and many off-leash trails. But when I arrived in the parking lot, two very friendly dog owners warned me about goat heads.
It’s a plant, apparently, with thorns that can push deep indents and even holes in shoes and dog feet. One of the dog owners showed me the bottom of her boots so I could see how deep the thorns go. Yikes!
We looked around at the reserve to see if we could see a sample of the actual plant, but I didn’t actually see one until I visited a friend’s house yesterday and found one growing in his back yard.
You can see a green seed pod in the lower right quadrant of the photo below, just under the long brown tree seed.
The green ones are reportedly softer and not quite so painful. But here’s a dried one I just pulled out of my shoe.
It looks like I’m going to have to clip my dogs even shorter than I thought, just so that I can examine them closely for all these small, but not insignificant, complications.
So far, I think Boise is beautiful. But it doesn’t offer the tick-, cheat grass-, goat head-free luxury I left behind in NW Oregon.