Exciting environments are my lifestyle. Sports like playing ball, swimming, running, hurdle jumping. I love social events, especially when I can smell and kiss the ladies.
And, of course, I love dining … Won’t turn down a treat now and then. … And love to lie down aggressively chewing on a RAW BONE!
My name is Touché. I call the one who takes care of me, Dad. He’s the best and gives me everything I need. One of the things I love most about Dad is how he takes me on adventures.
There are places in my neighborhood that are full of trees and wild birds and animals. Dad calls it the Woods,. He takes me and my sister, Mona, almost every day. Next to the ocean, it’s my favorite place in the whole world.
He says, “OK, Doggies, let’s go hunting.” Me and Mona immediately come to him. Dad straps us up and out the door and into a full trot. In four blocks, we enter what we call “the Woods.”
It’s beautiful in the Woods for many reasons: There are lots of trees, many trails, and much wildlife like squirrels, rabbits, lizards, and birds. As soon as we’re there, Dad takes off our leashes and shouts, “Go hunt!”… and off we go.
Mona and I have different styles. She likes to run right, then left through the bushes. Sniffing under the bushes as she goes. Me? I want to go full speed straight ahead. I love to jump over the fallen logs and soar over the bushes. I know, I know. We’re not allowed to go too far ahead.
Sometimes, suddenly, there would be a little animal up ahead. It looks funny with its ears standing straight up and funny little white balls on its rear.
I would freeze. I can’t help it. I look straight down my snout, and the animal is directly ahead; it, too, is frozen. I am very stiff. My tail, what’s left of it, is sticking straight out. They say this is one of the three great hunting traits we Brittanies call pointing. Sometimes, Dad stands behind me and lines his camera up by following my tail-to-nose, pointing to the little creep.
Then Dad ruins it for me. He starts singing, “There goes Peter Cottontail. Running down the bunny trail.” And sure enough, Peter runs!
But then, I instantly change into a ferocious dog wanting to catch Peter. And the chase begins. It’s most exhilarating. I chase it into a bush but lose track of it. But I smell it and get almost into biting distance when it lurches out in another direction. Off I go again, get close, lose it in another bush but smell its location, but it darts out again.
Once, I was so intense in my chase that I lost track of where I was. I could hear Dad yelling my name, but it seemed so far away. I usually have a good sense of direction and scent, but this time I was baffled. I headed out toward Dad’s voice, and as he got louder, something else got in the way. I found myself on the high edge of a steep cliff as I saw Dad way down below.
I barked and barked. Dad finally looked up and saw me. He had Mona on her leash and just stared at me. He went to the hill's edge, banged on his chest, and kept yelling, “Come on, Touché. You can do it.” But I knew I couldn’t. It was too steep … I kept barking.
Dad tied Mona to a small tree and started clawing up the side by grabbing the small bushes. He stopped now and then and repeated, “Come on, Touché. You can do it.”
I tried. I’d put my paw over the edge and leaned on it. It didn’t feel good, so I backed off. Finally, if Dad could make it partially up, I could try just as hard. So, with blind faith, I made the move … That was a bad move. I couldn’t get a footing. I continued to half run, half slide – uncontrollably. I zoomed right past Dad. Well, sorta. Dad tried to stop me, but he, too, lost footing and slid with me. Finally, we both crashed into a bush, which stopped us.
Fortunately, we were not hurt – well, physically. Dad picked me up and carried me down to the trail, where he brushed all the dirt and leaves off us. He reconnected my leash, took Mona, and off to home we went.
Someone famous said, “All's well that ends well.” When we got home, Mona and I jumped into the swimming pool while Dad grabbed a beer and sat on the patio, seemingly to enjoy our frolic.
Needless to say, it was a fun “hunt” into the woods. To this day, we still go into the woods. And to this day, I still chase that rabbit. One of these days, I’ll catch it – risks and all.
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