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*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Wild Game

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What a day that was. I initially chose the title of this post as a reference to Delilah’s diet yesterday, but the US Women’s soccer team decided to play the final match of the 2015 World Cup tournament in such a way as to steal the meaning. What an outburst of effort they put forth in that first half last night! Carli Lloyd getting a hat trick as quick as she did was astounding to witness.

They played the final two games of the tournament as if they were the best team in the world. I’m happy they were able to lift the cup at the end. They earned it.

Earlier in the day, our dog took it upon herself to hunt for her own breakfast. Her usual fare from us is a mixture of dry food and some meat from a can, twice a day, but yesterday she seemed particularly determined to get her protein from live-catches.

With Cyndie gone to the lake, I was on my own to try to keep track of Delilah as she romped off-leash in the manner she has grown accustomed after just one week of being watched by a new master. In just a few days, Cyndie accomplished more control over our dog roaming freely than I was able to achieve during the entire time I was home with her.

Not long after I had become engrossed in my tasks of putting out morning feed for the horses, and cleaning up their manure, I realized Delilah had gotten out of sight. Eventually, I found her on the other side of the barn, excitedly engaged in a “negotiation” with a young rabbit. It was not an exchange that the rabbit was going to win.

Meanwhile, the horses were demonstrating their high sensitivity to the predator-prey drama unfolding, even though it was out of their line of sight. They knew exactly what was going down, and remained on high alert until it was fully concluded. It prompted an increased sensitivity in me for the poor victim whose life was ended for our dog’s meal.

Back in the house, I opted to serve just dry food for the morning feeding. After her early morning excitement, Delilah was confined to her kennel in the yard while I went under ear muffs and used the power trimmer and then the diesel tractor to mow down more rampant growth around the property.

When I had finished, and it was time to feed the horses again, I hooked up Delilah to her leash and brought her with me. When we got to the back pasture, where I had just mowed, I decided to let her run free inside the fence. Before I could even get her unhooked, she reacted to a scent, despite the strong wind, and pulled hard to get after something. When I opened the clip on her leash, she bolted for the spot uphill in the direction from which we had just come.DSCN2675e

It looked like a mouse that had probably been killed by the mower. It appears that the scent of death is something Delilah is exceptional at detecting. I moved on without her and headed toward the barn, to put out the horse’s evening feed. Delilah caught up to me eventually and lingered for a while, briefly annoying the horses with some aggressive barking and threatening gestures. One of these days she is going to get kicked and it will be no surprise.

To her credit, when I finished in the paddock and was ready to wheel manure out to the compost pile, she heard my call and came running from somewhere out of sight. The success thrilled me, until I got the gate open and she sprinted up the trail into our woods without me.

I finished puttering with the compost piles and contemplated how I might get her to come back. Then I heard the tags clanking on her collar. She returned with her 3rd prize of the day: a freshly killed squirrel.

Our intrepid hunter seemed driven to not eat canned dog food this day. She, and the US women’s soccer team, had their hearts set on wild game, for sure.











Written by johnwhays

July 6, 2015 at 6:00 am

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