Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Bird Dog

Steu is a bird dog. When we first got him at six-months old, he got out of the car after an eight-hour drive and immediately pointed at a bird. Nose to stick-thin tail in a straight line, tiny leg tucked to chest, all of nine pounds. Immediately.

On our walks, he will spot the pigeons on the phone wires. In the car, he'll whip his head around to stare at a hawk. CBS Sunday Morning's "Moment of Nature" segment is fraught with peril in our house. Barking could ensue at any moment. Even the sound of a crow on the television will set him off. For some reason, he particularly loathes crows.

I don't know what the hell I was thinking by getting backyard chickens.

This spring was really rough, and many times I thought I would have to scrap the whole effort. With time, desensitizing, and a lot of work, we've now reached the point where I can leash Steu, walk with him to the coop, open the door, let the girls out into the yard, take the pup for his walk, come back, and have him lie down in yard while they peck nearby.

We are still a long way from any off-leash time with them, and I doubt I will ever leave them together unsupervised, but I'm amazed at how much progress he's made.

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