Friday, July 7, 2017
The Great Hunter
Isabella is our dog. She is getting older and has a tough time getting around but she still fancies herself to be a great hunter.
When I first moved here my son and Isabella had been here for quite some time. Even though we live in an extremely small town we keep her on a chain outside. It is for her own safety. She likes to chase (after a fashion) cars. She does not have the sense to stay far away from them.
In the back yard she has a shorter tether. It keeps her from running into the neighbor's yard. He is a little afraid of her even though she is mostly bark.
My son likes to tell the story of her chasing a cat.
There are feral cats all over town. I see fewer here than when I first moved. That is probaly because of Bella.
My son had fastened her collar to the chain in the back yard and he was talking to the neighbor. One of those feral cats sauntered into the yard. Bella took off after it barking and snarling as she ran. The cat was running for its life.
The cat ran at its top speed. Bella was fast on its tail. The cat ran. Bella ran. Then she came to the end of her chain. Just like the dog in the cartoons Bella abruptly jerked to a stop. She flew into the air with her legs still trying to run. She landed hard on her back as my son and the neighbor laughed.
In the front yard there is a cable that my husband strung between two trees. They are the length of the yard. There is a small chain that slides along the cable that we attach to Bella's collar. She can run the length and width of the yard freely.
She likes to argue with the squirrels that climb around in the trees and they like to argue with her. We often hear the barking and chattering until we make her come inside because we cannot stand to listen any longer.
When I was new here Isabella liked to chase birds too. We had to keep a close eye out because she would catch them and kill them if she had the chance.
We were watching the baseball game one evening and heard an awful scream. She had caught a bird and it was screaming in fear and pain. My son tried to get it away from her but she finally put it out of its misery.
But she is older now and her legs do not work well. Some days it is all she can do to climb the steps to get into the house. No more bird catching... or so we thought.
The other day my son heard a bunch of chattering out front where Bella was. Thinking the squirrels might take advantage of her condition he went to check on her.
There were no squirrels. Odd. But there was a goldfinch raising all kinds of a ruckus.
My son looked again at the dog and saw that there was a female goldfinch in her mouth. After she let go of it we gave it a proper send-off.
The thing is that she does not eat them; She just enjoys the chase.
She knows she is not supposed to. It is almost comical the way she slinks into the house. Of course my son yells a bit at her to make her let go of the bird but otherwise we recognize that she is an animal with animal instincts. But if you could see her looking so guilty you would have to laugh too.