A Tale of Two Dogs
I'm still up at my mom's. At least I got the mail thing figured out, so I won't have a hundred letters and three thousand spams waiting for me at home. :)
One of the best things about being up here is the dogs. Mom has two dogs, both mutts in the 80 lb. range. Snow Fire (Snowy) is a collie-(retriever?)-something mix. He's white with a bit of light blonding on his ears and down his back; he was all white as a puppy. He has a pointy-ish snout and flopped ears and he's the alpha dog. Hercules (Herky) is a chow-retriever-whatever mix. He has a beautiful, soft red coat, thick and fluffy, but not quite as much so around the shoulders as a full chow would have. He has a bluntish muzzle on a sort-of chowish head, with flopped ears. He's very mellow and lets Snowy boss him around, even though he's a bit bigger.
They have guard dog duties divided up very neatly between them. Snowy guards the house and yard from people, while Herky keeps an eye on the wildlife. This area was only recently built up, and it's up in the hills over Reno proper; there are a lot of birds and lizards and mice and such around. And bunny rabbits. Herky is a Mighty Hunter, and has brought into the house (live) examples of just about everything that lives around here, or in the case of the mice, has made captures indoors.
OK, some scene setting. Mom's yard is narrow and L-shaped, wrapping around the house. As you face the back fence from inside, the family room is on the right, with a sliding glass door to the yard. Moving to the left is a dining area, the kitchen, and through a door is the "formal" dining area. (I refuse to buckle under to the real estate weasels and call it a formal dining "room." A dining room has at least four walls. Real estate weasels will call any nook big enough to shove a table into a "formal dining room" these days. [rolling eyes]) The dining area is basically a chunk of the livingroom, which runs from the back of the house to the front; after going from the kitchen to the dining area, you hang a left to get to the main part of the livingroom. There are windows on pretty much every chunk of wall along the back and side, from which you can see the L-shaped back yard.
Got it? Good. So, I was in the livingroom with a book when I notice that the dogs are extremely interested in something out the dining area window. I get up and go look out with them. There's a bunny rabbit sitting on the lawn, a couple of yards from the fence. Herky's going crazy, his eyes spot on the bunny; he obviously wants to crash through the window and chase it. Snowy, on the other hand, is just sort of generally looking out the window. I can practically hear him: "Hey, is there something out there?! Is it something fun?! [bouncebounce] What's out there?! Can we go play?!" Snowy's a total ditz about wildlife.
Mom opens the door in the family room and both dogs tear over and exit, streaking around the corner to the short side of the yard where the bunny is. Or was -- Mr. Bunny, not being quite as dumb as Snowy, knows what's up and quickly exits through a gap between the fence and the ground.
The dogs explode into view. Herky goes straight for the spot the bunny'd been sitting on, sniffing around on the ground there, then follows the trail with his nose along the path it took to the fence, then sniffs around the gap through which it exited. He knows the score, down to the fifth decimal place. Snowy, on the other hand, is bouncing around clueless, having a lot of fun but not quite getting it.
Herky: [sniffsniff] OK, this is where he was sitting.
Snowy: [dashing around] Hey, we're outside! Let's run around!
Herky: [sniffsniff] Yep, nine month old rabbit, male, brown, been eating grass.
Snowy: [run, bark] Hey, are we sniffing?! Sniffing's fun! Let's sniff around!
Snowy proceeds to sniff around at random, wandering over the lawn, the weeds, the flowers, etc.
Herky: [walking and sniffing] This is where he went. He hopped along here at 13.1 miles per hour. He was scared. Hah, I'll bet he was.
Snowy: [sniff walk sniff run sniff] Hey, this is fun! We're sniffing!
Herky: [sniffing up to the fence] Darn, this is where he got out. The hole's too small for me! I can't follow! [whine, dog curses]
Snowy: [running and sniffing] Hey, are we still sniffing?! What's by the fence?! Anything fun?! [sniffsniff] Nope, nothing here. Hey, I got the baby!! [pounces on a stuffed monkey and dashes off with it]
Herky: [sniffing, glaring at fence] Damn, I'll get him some day. I got his grandfather and I'll get him!
I swear, I could hear the internal dialogue! I laughed so hard watching them I almost choked. :D Mom swears that Snowy's part retriever but I don't see it. I think he got his nose from a goldfish or something. ;)
Anyway, fun with dogs. :)