Multi-Tasking — A Dog For All Seasons
THE FOLLOWING POST CONTAINS GRAPHIC AND VIOLENT MATERIAL. INTENDED FOR MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY.
I have heard that Rat Terriers and Jack Russell Terriers are very efficient at killing rats. They don’t stop to eat them. They break the neck of a rat by shaking it and then move on. They don’t have to be taught to perform such a task. It is in the DNA of such breeds.
Beau is a Yellow Labrador Retriever. His lineage is bred to retrieve birds that have been shot by hunters who do not want to look in the brush for birds or swim out for birds that land in water. They are supposed to gently carry the birds in their soft mouths.
Recently I wrote about herding dogs and Beau’s interest in being a cow dog despite a lack of encouragement from my wife, Miss Sugar.
Today he ventured into the line of work for which terriers are genetically programmed. My that Beau is a dog with many interests!
Miss Sugar noticed that Beau was carrying something in his gentle mouth. It was not a bird. It was furry. It was a bunny rabbit. It was alive. Beau had made a new friend. Or not. Sugar called to Beau. He looked right at her and shook the bunny, which caused it to cross this vale of tears into bunny heaven. Apparently, Beau watched a program about Rat Terriers on the Animal Planet TV channel and learned the technique.
Shortly after that alarming display of terrier skills, Sugar saw that Beau had captured another young rabbit. Again, Sugar did not approve. She commanded that he drop it. (He does drop balls that he has retrieved so he knows the word.) To her amazement, Beau dropped this second bunny. He dropped it without first shaking it. As a result, it actually hopped away. What a good dog!
When I came home and Sugar relayed the stories of the two bunnies, which stories had opposite endings, I looked out on the deck. Sadie was laying there. Beau was laying there. Next to Beau, laying very, very still, was a little bunny. I got a shovel, planning to be the undertaker.
You see where this is going, gentle readers. You are thinking that this bunny had passed away like his peer did earlier in the day. Beau picked up his bunny when I opened the door and went down the steps from the deck to the ground. Miss Sugar brought out a treat. Sugar told me to get the bunny as Beau came over for his treat, but I did not.
I did not scoop up the bunny because when Beau dropped it in order to get Sugar’s treat, it hopped away to the woodpile from whence it likely came.
Maybe Beau isn’t cut out to be a good terrier.