Wednesday, September 21, 2011

That Dog Will Hunt*

When dogs are allowed to do what they love they are almost delirious with joy.  My dogs love to hunt.  So much so they act out when they are not allowed to do so.  Dove season started at the beginning of the month but the first day of the season my husband left the house without the dogs since he was worried about rattlesnakes.  One day last season when my husband went to retrieved  a downed dove that Duke was pointing he found a rattlesnake coiled up right next to the dove and very close to where Duke stood. That was the end of the season for the dogs.

This year after three days of watching my husband leaving the house with shotgun in his hand but without them Little Sally Pumpkinhead started digging holes in the yard.  She does dig holes but the ones she usually digs are cooling holes dug to find relieve from the heat. Those holes are wide and shallow.  The "you didn't take me hunting so I'll show you" holes are true holes being about four inches wide and almost a foot deep.  Duke's reaction to being left behind was different; he no longer understood English.  I would speak to him and he would stare at me as if I was speaking Martian.  This behavior continued until my husband deemed it save to take the dogs  with him as the weather conditions this year have not created the same ground conditions as last year.

So the dogs went back to hunting and both were filled with joy and no longer felt the need to dig holes or pretend they no longer understood English.   Little Sally Pumpkinhead loves dove hunting so much she has become a little obnoxious about it.  The procedure for hunting doves is for the dogs and the hunter to sit and wait in a field for the doves to fly over.  When that happens the hunter shoots one or a few doves and the dogs run out and retrieves them.  We've had  several cold fronts move through our area pushing the doves farther South which meant that each time my husband went out there were less and less bird overhead.  This displeased Little Sally Pumpkinhead greatly. 

The last and final time my husband went dove hunting this year no doves flew overhead.  Little Sally Pumpkinhead was so disgusted by this development she ran out under a flock of swallows that happen to fly over and barked her demand that my husband shoot them.   This, ladies and gentlemen, is the action of either a true hunting dog or the action of an almost full grown puppy who thinks hunting is the best game in the world and wants to play as often as possible.   I wonder how many holes Little Sally Pumpkinhead will be digging between now and the day pheasant season opens in November.

*Play on the American phrase " that dog won't hunt."

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