Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Mutt Stuff

The puppy Lucas has discovered there is a limit to what us elderly packmates will tolerate, and even then he’s pushed the boundaries. He’s developed the bad habit of collision, either out of pure fun or the lack of understanding of physics, and I’ve had to disabuse him of the notion it’s repeatedly healthy. I swung around with a foot and clipped his legs out from under him yesterday, and he did the nose dig into the hard packed earth of the path to the woods. It hurt his feelings but he’s pushing fifty pounds now and I cannot have an animal with that much mass trying to knock me down. Bert pinned him shortly after that and chewed some holes in Luke’s right ear, and I had to break that one up. Bert’s normally shiny coat looks somewhat moth eaten from puppy bites. Thank the ghost of Rin Tin Tin there are three of us against the might of the puppy force!

Sam has discovered some scent of some animal, or he’s discovered the massive Oak in the very Southern part of the back acre is a great place to be preoccupied, and he seems to have made it his life’s work to dig the creature, if there be one, out off the Oak. There isn’t anything I can discern in the tree, or in the small hollow of the tree, and this isn’t the first time the mutts have become fascinated with the Oak. I do not have Sam’s nose, or his ears, or his problems, so if this is his hobby so be it. Sam spends much more time with Lucas than either Bert or myself, so I see his need to get away from it all on occasion. The downside to all of this is Sam may actually find, and kill some critter holed up in the Oak. Sam is narrow of focus and single of mind when it comes to killing. When that thing inside of Sam clicks, only sheer brute force can sway him. It is exceedingly difficult for me to reconcile the gentle and loving Sam I know with the canine he becomes when he’s hunting. Dog owners should not forget they are in the presence of beings who are totally capable of bringing down much larger prey animals than the size of the dog might suggest. Having two, three, or more dogs and there is the ever present possibility they’ll use their instinct is a manner that will take your breath away, and scare you in a manner you were not aware of all safe in the company of the toy animals you were with just a few moments ago. I’ve seen Bert and Sam team up against armadillos and the way they use Sam’s speed, Bert’s agility, and the terrain against other animals makes me acutely aware I’ve got no chance to survive a coordinated attack from two canines this size.
Sam, who is mostly Greyhound, is still much faster than Lucas, and Luke is becoming a disciple of that speed. Mostly Luke wastes his acceleration with a bouncy puppy run that is more of a happy trot than a method of getting somewhere fast. But for each ball thrown that Sam gets and Lucas is left behind, I can tell Luke learns a little more about why he’s losing the footrace. Sam is built for incendiary speed, power take off running, and sheer energy consuming distance eating there isn’t much hope of escape running. Jet black without the burden of any head markings, Sam comes out of the bush at speeds that gives the object of attention tenths of seconds to decide what to do, and hundredths of seconds to do it.
If Sam is a surgeon, fast, efficient, and focused, Bert is a brawler. Bert goes into combat large and loud. More compact and more stocky than Sam, Bert is certain of his mass, and sure of his ability to use sheer brute force to take down prey. Sam fights silently while Bert snarls and growls. Sam takes off in a puff of dust, and Bert takes off with this odd half cough half growl from deep within. Where Lucas will fit in as the only son of these two fathers is anyone’s guess, but I suspect his talents will be revealed. Lucas hasn’t killed anything yet. There isn’t any way I can prevent it from happening, though.
The one thing I am certain of in all this might be Lucas’ need to be loved. He wants to be held and petted, much like Sam, and he wants to have some individual attention, much like Bert loves to have. Nothing is futile nothing is lost, nothing is worthy of despair, as long as you can feel love. Any endeavor, no matter at what great lengths you have to go to, is too fat, or too hard, or too much, as long as there is love. Whatever mistakes I make with the puppy Lucas, he will feel loved, always.

Take Care,
Mike

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