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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

When you least expect it...

Scout whined.

Well, the sound she makes is not quite a whine. It's more of a muffled moan, under her breath, from deep in her throat.

This usually signals a need to "park," but lately I think she's really saying, "Come on, take me outside, I'm bored and tired of waiting around for you to finish writing!"

I wasn't yet done with my bowl of yo (as we used to call cereal when we were kids) and Andy just had the dogs out. She'd have to wait.

Scout stood at alert on the carpet just beyond the kitchen and moaned again. With a bit more emphasis.

Great. Andy's morning poop report for Scout wasn't great for the last two days, so I figured she needed to go. In a hurry.

I clipped on her leash and headed out the door. The cool morning air was refreshing and foretold of what is to come. (Yay!) I let Scout wander around up on the overgrown hill on the north side of our yard. Her nose got busy in the dry, deep grass as I gazed out across the vista of green hills and big sky.

The leash suddenly slackened as Scout jumped back, bumping my leg. She put her nose back down to the ground and inched forward. She jumped back again like something bit her. I couldn't tell what it was. She stuck her nose deep into the grass. And jumped back again.

What was that? I wondered and took a step forward, expecting a gardener snake to slither off.


Scout's nose went deeper, and this time I heard a rustle and caught a glimpse of movement. When she jumped back again, I kicked at the spot she was sniffing and three dark bodies went scurrying off in three different directions. Too big and dark for chippies.

Scout went berserk wanting to pursue them. I wanted to follow them too, but I couldn't let her get away with yanking me around. I backed up and tried redirecting Scout with a command.

Scout. SIT.

She sat! But strained forward, nose really working the air scent trail. I diverted my attention. Scout lunged against the leash. I anchored myself, struggling to get her back into a sit, and just caught sight of three baby rabbits as they broke free of cover and made for the woods.

I managed to get Scout back into a sit and was quick with a YES! marker when she looked at me. I dug into my pocket and was glad to find a few treats. Several treats later, Scout's focus was strong on me and we trotted back into the house. With a few glances over her shoulder.

When you least expect it...a training opportunity!

Be prepared.

The (empty) nest that Scout found.


  1. I appreciate the way you're seeing beautiful in that training can come at any moment. I'm so proud of Scout!

    Happy seeing beautiful!

    1. Thanks, Lydia, you just have to be ready for it! (It being training opportunities...and beauty.) Today we are seeing beautiful in the much-needed rain--it won't ruin our family camp trip because now everyone is coming HERE!


    (Ask the girls!)