The crew I had been with gave up on picking as a means to earn money. It seemed the force was against us. Besides the grueling nature of physical labor required to work in the fields, wages were minimal. Certain crops were said to be preferable. We never saw them. Rumors spread that ideal work was being grabbed up by a religious sect from San Francisco. Apparently they would contract to pick the whole harvest, and had plenty of members to perform the work. It effectively eliminated any chance for outsiders to have access to these better jobs. It also assured the growers would have their costs under control. This adversity made it seem preferable for my mates to head back to their forest homes and find other means for minimal subsistence.
I had other concerns. I began to wonder about safety of traveling with a growing dog. Kootenay had not been a problem while I was working at picking. He was welcomed and provided diversion for many of the workers. He had a playful spirit along with curiosity that lead him to engage with many folks. As fall was approaching, I was considering making a major move southward. My means of travel meant I would not be heading there directly. Ordinary travelers have difficulties managing with their pets. My accommodations were even less welcoming to pets. Sometimes they were not even welcoming to humans. My concerns begged for a solution. It was around lunch time, sitting in a park at the end of the main street in Wenatchee, when I was joined by Paul, Sharon, and Pat. We had enjoyable lunch time conversation. Both woman fell for Kootenay. He seemed to be falling also. These folks were visiting from Oregon.
They were not extending an invitation to travel back there with them. Besides, I had a notion to head back to Slocan and see if Sue had got back from here excursion with Michel. Before heading south I wanted to have a final farewell to a place that had quickly become dear to me. I am not certain who suggested that perhaps, Kootenay would enjoy a home in Oregon, but it seemed a workable solution to my dilemma. He did not express any need to sneak back across the border and it felt that these folks could provide a safe and comfortable home. I felt like I would miss his company, but was certain this was for the best. I gave him a nuzzle and headed back in the direction of the Canadian border.