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Saturday, September 4, 2010

Adventures with Zoë

Like all terriers, Zoë is a high energy dog.  About four days after I got her, she led me a merry chase! I was going to my car—actually, first to the shed, and thought, I don’t need a leash for this little bit, and Zoë was off and running, nose to the ground. called her and she didn’t pay one bit of attention. I ran after her with my sandals flopping, finally kicking them off to get more speed. She trotted right past my neighbor's trailer, then, thankfully, was diverted into his work yard, so while she sniffed around there I had time to get a little ahead. She came across just in front of me, and I threw the leash in front of her. That startled her! She stopped dead in her tracks and I was able to catch her. I mused that she might never get off-leash again if she’s that single pointed!
Zoë and her bone
I have a few chickens at my house, and a couple dozen more at the farm.  Zoë took one look at them and said, "Oh, boy!  Chickens!"  I sternly corrected her, in my most authoritarian voice saying, NO CHICKENS!  To no avail, alas.  Since my yard is not enclosed, I had been putting her out on a long rope, with a bone to entertain her, and hoped the chickens would steer clear.  Chickens are not known for their great intelligence, so it was only a few day before one strolled into her path.  POUNCE!  S Q U A W K!  Feathers flying everywhere as she happily grabbed the hen--the same Barred Rock that I nursed back to health from a raccoon attack last year.  This is not a smart chicken.  "NO!  B A D   D O G!"  I hollered, and gave her a swat on her butt.  She dropped the chicken, struggled to get it again, and I carried her into the house. 

It took a few more days, but one day something clicked, and as we walked out to the car, Zoë glanced at the chickens--and turned away.  You can still see her thinking about it, but she has decided that chickens are not on the diversionary menu.  Zoë is a very smart dog.
Zoë and friend

One of Zoë's favorite places is the dog park.  We are graced to have the only dog park for miles around, the people of Belfast being a very creative and pragmatic folk.  It's a wonderful place, and I've watched Zoë relax from a cautious (but not timid) dog, watching from the sidelines, to joyously joining in the chase as dogs went speeding by, romping through the obstacle tube, to happily retrieving squeaky balls.  Zoë is a very happy dog.  And you know, watching dogs is a wonderful pastime.  It has to be one of the most relaxing places I've found.

Ah!  This is the way life ought to be.

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