Thursday, July 7, 2011

Bug On the Lam

I specifically remember the lady at the Animal Rescue place CLEARLY stating that Bug had been raised with goats and poultry and other livestock and that she KNEW boundaries. I wish I had asked her if Bug's boundary knowledge was acquired from a Missouri road map?

Bug’s first evening unchained did not go too well. She immediately dismissed as inadequate this mere 36 acre lot, heard the call of far places and departed as swiftly as four long white legs can carry one dog, becoming little more than a pale blur against the blacktop and heading due north. My hopes of the great fox eliminator and protector of all things feathered crumbled to dust at my feet. Well, they would have been dust if the grass hadn’t still been wet.

Never having a really strong grasp on my temper at the best of times, my initial reaction of disappointment was immediately replaced with a sincere hope that a big truck (it would have to be a big one) would wipe her out and nobody would ever know who she belonged to, her being new to the neighborhood.

Fortunately for Bug AND me, my neighbors always seem to be a little confused about the exact date of the Fourth of July and want to do fireworks for as long as possible and Bug was just barely out of sight when their celebratory barrage against anyone daring to doubt their patriotism commenced. I never saw a dog backtrack so fast. She was fireballing back down the blacktop so fast she almost missed the place completely and if I hadn’t hollered at her she would probably have wound up in Cameron. Well, I chained her again.

This morning turned cool and lovely with a nice, grumbly little thunder shower working its way across DeKalb County and I unchained her hoping to coax her into following me through chores. Remember the orientation thing all week long? With me bottle feeding bucket calves, baby goat, watering doelings, chicks, hens etc with a 75 pound dog attached at the wrist? Well evidently Bug didn’t. This time she lit out down the gravel to the east, loping low and fast and within seconds nothing was visible but the sway of a white tail plume and then that was gone.

“Damn”..this time, before I could exercise any reasonable restraint, my temper was totally gone and in my degeneracy, I envisioned a bear chewing her up and spitting her out! I had just read that they are CONSCIENTIOUSLY propagating the Black Bear down in South Missouri. I relished the thought! Nothing to be left but a pink collar with a few white hairs clinging to it and the tiny tag saying she was most likely not rabid tinkling against the leash loop!

Before any doubts had time to rise regarding the existence of a bear on demand on my part a low rumbling, followed by a louder crash of thunder, was THEN followed by a fast traveling streak of white heading back in my direction. Bug outdid herself this time. Barely sparing a glance for me, the crazy lady standing in the rain fantasizing about Bear-On-Dog scenarios, she raced for the barn, wheeling at the last second and backing in so nothing could be seen in the dimness of the barn door except a white muzzle and two black ears.

As I debated whether to chain her again, patting my self on the back for the fact that she DID know where home was,..(remember the orientation thing?) the rain shifted to a light drizzle and the grumbly thunder seemed to have crossed over into Daviess County. More power to ‘em.

Bug also noticed the altered circumstances and stalked out of the barn like she personally had driven the thunder away. Meeting no audible threat she lunged into gear and was off down the gravel again in a nano-second only to be met by a repeat of the rumble and thunder, followed by an even faster retreat to the barn.

I figured this was enough dog training for one day and, not having enough faith in either my neighbors’ patriotism or the Good Lord’s willingness to intercede in my dog’s training by stepping in with loud noises as needed, I lunged for the chain and Bug at the same small task.. and by some miracle had them connected once again. I’ll try again tonight.

P.S. I haven't seen a fox since Bug and her big mouth and mobile nature arrived.

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