Wednesday, December 27, 2006


This morning Franklin the dog and I began our morning walk by encountering the rabbit who lives along side the driveway. I saw it, the rabbit saw us and then Franklin saw it. The usual pattern ensued. The rabbit ran into the shrubs, I pulled in Franklin's leash and before he could start his pacing and indignant circling, we started out on our walk.

This hare is either a long time survivor or the offspring of the original rabbit first seen in the yard about three years ago -- it hangs out in the base of the tall juniper hedge that separates my side yard from the neighbor's backyard. One afternoon a few years ago the dog and I were startled when a hawk came swooping down and chased the rabbit into the shrubs right in front of us. Franklin didn't know which to chase, the hawk or the rabbit.

When I pull the dog in on his leash -- basically making it a regular leash as opposed to a long leash that gives him freedom to make his indigant circles and paces in the face of a live rodent -- he calms down, and so this morning we walked that way around the entire townlet. I am suprised at how quickly he adapts to this, and he walks next to me without too much tugging. That he did so right after seeing the rabbit was even more amazing.

I hate to walk this way because this is a dog bred to be out by himself sniffing around, chasing and barking (and killing) things. But if I move this next year to NYC, he will have even more restrictions, and it is time to start easing him into that routine.

I will try to balance this discipline with more play. Franklin turns seven next month and the vet tells me that means he is becoming a senior citizen. Last week, I pulled out one of the tennis balls he has stolen over the years and bounced it around. He loves chasing after it and bringing it back to me, dropping it in front of me so that I will throw it again. Eventually I have to put it away so that we can go to sleep.


lemming said...

indignant circles

Sam was bred to herd sheep, but he feels exactly the same way about rabbits.

Shelley said...

You're thinking of moving to New York? I guess I'm not surprised, but I hate to see the exodus of tolerance from the midwest.

Don said...

lemming - I am not sure where the line for play starts and the desire to kill begins. Last night, Franklin barked in his sleep, something I hear from time to time, and I know heis imagining chasing something.

shelley - Nothing definite for the moment, but I am too old for a two-city household, and am ready to become a part of a one city household again. I'm a wuss. I'll let you know if/when it is definite.

lemming said...

A wuss? Silly me: here I thought it was love.


Very best to Partner at this season, too.