Saturday, December 14, 2013

Dog sense

In the last few weeks with the thermometer dropping as low as 20° below zero, Newton has behaved on our walks on the driveway like the perfectly behaved dog that we trained him to be. He sticks with us, checks back often when we lag behind, and in general seems to take great joy in walking and running with us.

Then, the temperature rose. I knew we might be in for a hard time when Newton persisted in wandering off the driveway into the deep snow in the west woods. I’d call him back, and he would meander back to me, but he was definitely more interested in the woods than he was in me. Rabbit tracks crossed and recrossed the driveway. Mouse trails led under the snow. Deer bedded down in the shelter of the woods. It was a wonderful area for wildlife.

Finally, when the thermometer reached 4°, the scents of the animals in the woods overcame Newton’s common sense. He was off and exploring, nose searching through snow drifts. He ran from site to site, buried his nose in the snow, snuffled loudly and then dashed off to another scent.

I stamped through the snow after him, calling uselessly. Fortunately, whatever scents Newton was following had gone to ground in our woods. I did not have to chase him across the entire west forty acres. I caught up with him, grabbed his collar and encouraged him back to the road. The next time we go for a walk, I will use my own common sense and put the leash on the dog before we leave the house.

No comments:

Post a Comment