Thursday, December 04, 2003

walks: a report

Franklin and I have been faithful in our twice daily walks this week. None have been in daylight. While the mornings have been colder than the evenings, neither has been unbearable. For days the weather folk have been predicting slushy snow and rain. Looks like that will finally happen today.

This morning, Franklin did his little b-line hop and jump. I assume he must have picked up the scent of a mole or chipmunk underground, or their tunnel. Scotties often move their front or back legs together in unison, rather than in rotation, particularly when they are running at full speed. Or when they do this little hop dance.

Franklin does three or four hops, his ears and tail straight up, his long snout pointed to the ground. And then he stops quickly at what must be the place where it is underground. As he stops, he is staring intensely down at the ground as if he could see through the grass and dirt.

It really is a dance, done in an imaginary line. I assume his interest must be based on smells or sound. I see nothing visual to stir him up. Scottish farmers bred these dogs to hunt vermin, mostly underground ones such as weasels, that plagued their farms. Hence the strong, front legs, the big dog's massive teeth, the excitement at anything that moves fast, and the short stature that allowed them the ability to move underground, and a fearlessness that borders on insanity.

I stop to watch this little dance and then move forward. He is quite good-natured, or at least trained well enough to quickly resume our walk. I wonder if the haunting excitement of finding whatever it was that so moved him lingers as we walk on up the street.

Yesterday morning, a sheriff's unmarked car slowly drove by, flashing his light onto different yards. When we got home, he was parked just past our yard. I have not heard if there has been some incident. My neighbors in the townlet would be happy to know that the police drove through because we often feel ignored by them.

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