Although this blog post involves a dead thing – there are no close ups on gory so I have decided to include it here rather than Pup’s training blog because it was actually a lovely interaction:
We had walked about half way along the larch spinney when Pup discovered a prostate corvid. Now there is something you need to know if you are not familiar with crows – they apparently taste vile because of the oil on their feathers … many dogs will not touch them at all. Dog however has no problem picking them up! Looking at where it was I would guess it had hit the tree and broken it’s neck.
So Pup looked at the this poor dead creature and then looked at me as if to say what do I do? am I allowed?
So having been told it was okay he approached very cautiously and tentatively patted then sniffed … before dodging backwards again …
Then a longer nudge with his nose, a small lick and he backed off fast!
He approached form the other side – well of course it might taste better from that direction!
There was more poking and jumping back again. Then he tried to pick it up by the tail … feathers came out! So he tried a wing – the wing opened so he didn’t manage to pick up the crow.
He was experimenting with a hold across the back with both wings pinned in when a chap walked along the oath behind us and spoke as he passed me. Pup dashed up behind him with the crow in his mouth. So I laughed and said “oh you will bring it now but not everyone wants to share your crow!” I was very impressed that the chap ignored him.
So now Pup’s dilemma was that if he brought it to me Dog was waiting to snatch it … so off he went for a bit more thinking about the situation. I tied Dog’s lad round a tree fully expecting him to yip and carry on but he didn’t. I clipped Pup’s lead onto his harness and encouraged him to retrieve the crow to me which he did. I made a fuss and because the chap walked back the other way took advantage of Pup being distracted to pop the crow in a tree (very pleased to note that there was not a mark on it).
We continued on our walk (yes I did get Dog back from his tree!); when we turned round Pup seemed more interested in following a trail of the chap who had passed … but then he found the crow got up on his hind legs and retrieved it! This time he brought it to me without his lead being fastened on and there was only a brief hesitation before he gave it to me … again no damage so he hadn’t gripped it.
I managed to lose the crow a wee while later but I was really pleased with Pup that he had picked it up despite the taste and had (after lots of encouragement) retrieved a dead thing to me instead of ripping it apart and eating it. Pup did slightly spoil it all by dashing out of the spinney and onto the road after the chap – but he was shouted to stop and he did return immediately. What the chap made of being offered a dead crow I am not sure … he didn’t say much and I was a little puzzled by his motivation since that path is a dead end and he didn’t have a dog with him!
The rest of my day was mundane by comparison – a visit with Evelyn (couldn’t finish her garden because it rained) and the supermarket – my favourite activity!!! On the plus side a brief conversation with Weatherguru about the weather – he has jinxed me since he said it was going to rain again – but it hasn’t!