Have you ever had a dog that imprinted on you and vice versa? One who thought like you ? I’ve had 32 bird dogs at one time but one is always my wingman and gets top billing. I’ve scaled back a bit since then but I must say my water dogs have always been the brightest. I take my yellow lab Molly grouse hunting because she points as good as a setter or a pointer. My wife has forbidden me to take her standard poodle out hunting. He’s supposed to be the premier water dog but sinks for some reason. He’ll drown if you take him in the pool. I always thought dogs were naturals for that but I was wrong. Then there’s the problem with shotguns. Shadow doesn’t do bang. I have to lock Molly up on the 4th because she’d retrieve M-80s if she could. I lock Shadow up to prevent him from having a heart attack.
Molly is the first dog I ever had who can remember where she put her tennis ball down. She’s also my first rat dog. In 2007 BI (before Interferon) the dogs started going ape in the barn and sniffing around the hay. I tried a rat trap and got one but it was obvious there was another. He wouldn’t go near it after that. I tried one of those sticky things they now sell but only got three mice. The second sticky doodle got him but he spent all night gnawing it apart to unstick himself. I would have paid good money to watch that. So would a lot of people I know on Youtube.
I decided I was not going to provide housing for indigent wayward rodents. I took everything out when we ran low on hay. When I moved the last pallet, out came the mondo rat. He took two steps towards the dogs, stopped, and took off up the wall on a bare stud. Molly nailed him half way up and that’s all she wrote. She usually obeys me religiously but when I told her to drop it, the look I got was “I don’t think so, dude. You want a rat, go roll your own. This one’s mine.” Five years have gone by. I usually say Rat Dog when they’re down there with me in the morning. This seems to have imprinted on both of them.
This morning I went down to feed the masses. The new mouser Ambush had just strapped on the old feed bag when I reached down and grabbed a handful of carrots for the horses. The dogs were going ape shit so I knew there was a new rat in the barn. I just didn’t know it was in the carrot bucket. Out bounced the biggest hummer you ever saw. Kitty panicked and bailed. The rat ran across my hand and hit the floor running. The dogs ran into each other trying to get to it. Pandemonium ensued and it took me five minutes to get the dogs out.
This afternoon the dogs talked me into going rat hunting. I took everything out again but no rat. The dogs kept scratching at one corner of the tack room so I stuck a riding crop into the crevasse. Boom. Out comes King Rat. The poodle went through my legs hard and Molly went behind me to head it off. It still made it outside before she caught up with it.
It took longer this time to convince her to give it to me. Shadow, who is differently abled as dogs go, is convinced it’s still in there. Check this guy out. 17 ¼ inches from stem to stern. Not bad for a Labradog.