Thursday, August 27, 2009

Neither Tea nor Food

This morning I was jogging with Oli, the official dog of T&F. As he often does when off-leash and drunk on freedom, he was running circles around me. Literally.

At one point he darted in to nip at my heels and his rabies tag became ensnared by my shoe lace. He pulled away to free himself but instead got twisted up and landed on his back. He stared up at me as if to ask "Master, what is this cruel new magic?"

Moments later, while dashing through the woods, he flushed a deer. The only other time he'd seen one, my typically calm and quiet dog essentially flipped out. He let loose a horrible, primal sound from deep within, sort of a cross between a howl and a garbage truck going off a cliff.

That time, he was on-leash and could not pursue the creature that had bemusedly pranced away. But since then I've always been worried about him seeing another hind while unhindered.

Or to be more precise, I was worried about how many miles he would chase it and how many dangerous, Froggeresque intersections he might cross in doing so.

When he discovered the deer this morning, of course it ran off and of course he pursued. But here's the surprising part: when I called him, he came right back. My only explanation is that he did a quick calculation of how much meat he would get from that one deer compared to how much I would feed him for the rest of his life.

Clearly, my cruel, new magic worked. He trotted happily back to my side and we kept jogging without incident. Except for when he picked up a pointed, six foot long fallen sapling and galloped at me full speed, ramming it into the back of my knee.

But who who needs a patella when you've got loyalty?

Photo courtesy of Cailin, my vet tech.

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