I was walking in downtown Portland, Oregon a while back and I came across a dog tied to a tree in front of a restaurant. I noticed that the knot used to tie the rope around the tree was none other than the infamous bowline knot, suggesting that dog’s owner was either a sailor or a climber. I didn’t get to talk to the owner, so I guess we’ll never know.
I have to admit that the bowline surprised and delighted me–enough that I was prompted to take this very poor photo. I think it’s in part a matter of context. As a climber I encounter this knot all the time in alpine climbing anchors. However, I don’t expect to run across a bowline in the city. I mean urban dog owners typically don’t know their knots. I would have expected a square knot at best, or a ‘granny knot’ at worst.
The dog just stood there staring attentively, like he was waiting for something to happen.
“What ya looking at boy?” I asked him. And I half expected him to respond.
“Well this rabbit came out of the hole. He ran around the tree, and then he went back down the hole. If he comes back out of that hole he’s mine.”
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA