Thursday, January 9, 2014
Walking the boys this morning around the soccer field park. The trail is mostly a nice, paved meander, though two parts cut across the wide grassy swath of the soccer pitch, and about halfway around is a small cluster of trees and shrubs, now called Wanker Woods by me after that very unfortunate experience a while back. Nowadays I proceed with more caution.
So, the park is virtually empty today, not another dog walker, jogger or high school kid practicing his/her kicks into the multitude of nets strewn randomly around the area. The boys are rambunctious, darting and peeing and snuffling into the bushes that line the path along the river. As we approach Wanker Woods, Ozzy freezes--his version of a Pointer--before dashing into the trees after a squirrel.
Max is clueless at first. He must have had the worst childhood because he doesn't know anything about chasing critters, how to play with toys, or how to deal with anything out of his ken...like a camera or the clink of a fork on the plate. And holy crap, don't open that dishwasher!! Poor guy.
Though today, he cocks his head and watches Ozzy run from tree to tree as not one, but two squirrels play the torment the dog game. I'm waiting to see what Max will do, but also have to keep an eye on Oz because he's fast. Really fast. Once on a walk in Scotland he actually caught a squirrel.
All of a sudden, as if it's a convention, at least five more squirrels come out of the woodwork (so to speak), and they begin scampering up and down the trees, chattering and waving their tails and truly teasing Ozzy who is running madly back and forth, bouncing off the trunks. I start laughing, because it's so totally obvious the squirrels are toying with him.
In the center of this small woodland is a little clearing circled by four very large cedar trees. The boughs touch each other, which allows the squirrels to fly from tree to tree, dash down the trunks and run back up a different tree. Max stands in the clearing for a minute, his eyes on a squirrel, but before he can decide what to do, all at once the whole gang run down the trees, come within a whisker of Max's startled face, pirouette in midair right over him like they've trained at the Bolshoi and wildly scramble up the cedars again.
Max spins in a circle--twice--not sure where to look or what to chase, then he barks sharply and leaps straight up into the air like a bounding gazelle. When he gets to the height of his jump (and it was impressive!) he kicks out his back feet, throws back his head and howls like a Banshee. Oh man, it was the funniest thing I've ever seen...or heard.
He hit the ground on all fours, gave himself a serious shake like a wet dog, then casually wandered off as if he hadn't just tried to fly or call up Satan for reinforcements.
I laughed the rest of the walk, and pretty much most of the way home.
Dogs. Such entertainers...