Thursday, 22 July 2010

Nature red in tooth and claw...

Scientists are always arguing about Nature versus Nurture.

One of the things you have to put up with if you live in a scientific household is that your human is endlessly speculating about the origins of your behaviour.

Take toys for example. Just something to play with, right? Some are more fun than others, end of story?

Oh but no.

You see I have this great little mouse (or is it a hamster?) It was given me by a lovely lady called Diane. I have lots of wonderful toys but this one's my absolute favourite. It's all brown and fluffy and if you pull the tail it vibrates as it scoots across the floor. If I'm quick I can catch it in my mouth mid scoot, and after a few seconds the vibrations cease. I find this immensely enjoyable.

So of course there has to be a theory about why I like this toy best. A certain person, a friend of Gail's whom we shall call 'Rhoderick' ('cos that's his name) put forward the idea that when the vibration stops, it's as if the animal has died, and the reason I like the mouse is that it satisfies some primal urge to kill. An urge not otherwise satisfied if one's food supply comes in the form of dried pellets out of a packet labelled 'Burns Mini Bites'.

Well I wonder what you think about this hypothesis?

Should I be insulted by the implication that I may not be quite as sweet and innocent as I sometimes appear?

Or should I be proud of my killer instincts?

[By the way, for this blog post, Gail wanted me to pose for a photo with the mouse in my mouth, dripping tomato ketchup, but I vetoed the plan on grounds of bad taste. Aren't you glad?]


  1. Bertie - Yes, we're glad.

  2. In terriers the instinct to kill little varmints is something to be proud of. Both Alanis and I chase things that run and I'm an expert at eviscerating every toy that comes my way. That hamster is way cool!
    and Alanis

  3. Oh Bertie we totally understand since uncle is a mad scientist
    Benny & Lily

  4. Oh Bertie,
    That picture would have been so funny. Papa would love that one, hehehe! You should be proud of your terrier instincts. Terriers are meant to hunt and years ago terriers were used for deer & fox hunting too besides all of the little vermin. Now you just need to catch a real mousie to show Gail how smart & fast you are!
    Wirey Hugs, Purrz & Licks,
    Butchy, Katie, Ruby, Sylvester, Scuby & Hootie

  5. Hehe. That ketchup would have been just the right touch. Definately you are exercising your terrier instincts. We do the same. Wonderfully basic doncha think?!

    We no longer eat out of our food bowls. Now we get to hunt and work for our kibble just like our ancestors did. Sometimes it's a treasure hunt in the house. Sometimes it is through food puzzles. (We LOVE the Nina Ottoson brick!) We'll have to do a post on how we do mealtime now adays!
    Smooches from pooches,
    BabyRocketDog and Hootie

  6. Bertie, you have good taste. You have a proud heritage of varmit hunting, and a toy is just a toy. Don't analyse it, just enjoy.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Kendra & Bella

  7. Bertie,

    Toy moving good.

    Hooman saying blah blah blah, well, blah blah blah.

    Toy moving GOOD!

    woo woos, Tessa

  8. Gail will be glad of your mouse killing abilities when the next cold winter comes and the meeces move indoors for warmth...

  9. Bertie...we had that same hamster...well, Mumsie did...she adored it...

    I think we woulda killed it in one quick bite and swallow...

    Thanks for the good wishes for our Daddy...he's doing sooooooooo well!!


    Laciecakes!! XXOO

  10. Hello Bertie,

    The hypothesis sounds interesting, those hoomans, they come up with the weirdest things (mum thinks it makes sense?). I love a kitty mousie toy too that vibrates, but I chewed it up. I also had a hamster at home that I let climb all over me. So not sure about the hypothesis.. hehe

    ps. you're so cute, are your ears still glued?

    Love nibbles,
    Miss Sunshade

  11. We disagree. Ketchup tastes great. Oh, wait, that's not what you meant. Never mind.

  12. Bertie. Anything that goes in your gob is wagging. Moving mousie included and tomato ketchup sounds scrumptious (note to self must steal some)Hmm why haven't I one of those mousies. (note to Mom get me one this instant)

    Now I saw Bay Rockets comments and yep! My meal times are sometimes a hunt and seek. Oohhhh my Nina Ottosson wobbly pyramid is the bees knees Bertie, you would love it. Love lal her games. (Note to Gail - better get one for the bouncy boy some day!)

    Wish you had done the photo shooot.....

    Wiry love Uncle E xx

  13. Actually, I would have loved that photo. Not too late you know.

    As for the theory of the toy. Whatever. Humans think too much.


  14. What ever the reasons.... I think you should just enjoy your toy and be proud of the awesome cute pup you are! Even if you have a killer instinct buried down deep, its not like you ferociously attack at random. You have manners so I say BE PROUD!

    p.s. everyone needs to let off a little steam sometimes :0)

  15. Go with it Bertie, its what us terriers do, don't let the sides down, and don't let Gail set you up, be proud of your killer instincts.
    See Yea George xxx

  16. Hey there Bertie...(and Gail)
    I totally agree with Rhoderick's hypothesis. If King-Toffee's behaviour is anything to go by...the 'anything that moves' theory, this is added evidence that a 'TERRIER''s behaviour is certainly primal!
    (this has great value when it comes to Corn Crickets which happen to invade the house sometimes!)
    But then again...don't worry too much about it...just chase it and enjoy it!
    Sending lotsaluv

  17. ARE YOU KIDDING ME???? THIS IS WHAT WE LIVE FOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WE ARE RATTERS YOUNG MAN AND DO NOT FORGET THAT!! phew it is hard to write in all caps.. listen we are way behind in our reading .... but here we are.. WE MUST HAVE THIS TOY!!! One day I will tell you all my tales of my Earthdog competition here in the states... also how I once caught a skunk hee hee( except I dropped him) Archie is my personal trainer.. Love A+A

  18. our fox terrier used to pull the string to make the critter vibrate, and sort of nuzzle it in his paws and mouth, and repeat... (Loki died 12/09)