Friday, 28 March 2014

Instinct versus rational thought

"What kind of a fox terrier are you anyway?"

Fellow pups, does this ever happen to you?

There you are, out on a walk near the river, happily bouncing around enjoying the freedom of being off the lead, when a fox crosses your path in broad daylight, right to left, and heads off into a thicket.

Obedience training forgotten, the prey instinct kicks in and before Gail can shout "come Bertie, COME, BERTIE NO NO NO!" you have disappeared into the bushes in hot pursuit.

And then caught up in the excitement of the moment, you race around in random directions, barking joyfully, and ....  you lose the scent.

For half a tail wag, you feel frustrated that Mister Fox has evaded your clutches. (Later Gail tells you he ran back across the track, left to right, slap bang in front of her, how could you have missed him?)

But soon you relax and return to Gail, thankful that you have a superior evolutionary strategy. You are a pet, not a working dog, and most definitely not wild creature dependent on your hunting skill to survive, and back home awaits a fire, a cosy cushion, and a full bowl of tasty kibble.


  1. Anyway Bertie, the thrill is in the chase. Who actually wants to catch one?

    XXXOOO Bella & Roxy

  2. Bertie,

    We have the same problem here in New Zealand. Enzo and I are two Golden Retrievers, which as you know are dogs breed to retrieve ducks, so what does our own human do when we show interest in the neighbor's property (where our pensioner neighbor has taken to daily feeding and encouraging ducks and ducklings to live there - sometimes over ten at at time, and they have been quacking/laughing at us duck dogs for months) is our human tells us off for showing an interest. We can't get to the other side of the fence, but often our human gets even more animated when the ducks come through the fence or fly over the fence to see us! As Scotsmad said "the thrill is in the chase" even though us dogs have the shrill of our human's voice in our ears as they try to stop us catching anything!

    Riley and Enzo

  3. The thrill is in the chase....not in the capture....sounds like you did your thrilling perfectly and we're rewarded perfectly, nap and food

  4. Oh yes Bertie we have been there , seen and done that. Luckily Ms Foxy escaped into a fenced up area I could not get in to. Play bows to you. Have a fabulous Friday.
    Best wishes Molly

  5. Bertie every dog experiences this daily, you have put it perfectly into wells

    retro rover

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  7. BRAVO you are 100% WHFT!!!
    Bertie life is about the journey not the destination and that short journey will be worth tons of great dreams!!
    Madi your bfff mom says you probably scared Gail so badly she will be gray by tomorrow.
    Mom had a typo pardon delete

    1. Gail's furs are schnauzer coloured already, pretty much. nothing to do with me, surely?

  8. Hari OM
    OMD, so close yet not a hare...errr... hair off it's tail to show for the effort. Be careful though, or Gail may start thinking an extended lunge rope might be a better plan than fully off-leash... Hope you have a peaceful and restorative weekend lined up. Hugs and wags, YAM-aunty xxx

  9. You did it JUST RIGHT.... NOW you have the chance to do it ALL OVER AGAIN. It is the HUNT and the CHASE that count.

  10. Thank goodness you remembered Gail
    Lily & Edward

  11. That was exciting Bertie .... mum often wonders why we schnauzers are very uninterested in sniffing out her mice who gobble our veggies in the veggie garden! Personally - I don't want to get involved!!

    Good job on the chase!

    Tail Wuggles, Rubie xxx

  12. Bertie - You have our sympathy. Fox hunting is much more difficult than some people seem to realize.

  13. Bertie! We thought cats were our natural prey! Those are the guys we want to chase...of course,, perhaps if we had the luck to live in Scotland, we might change our minds. Great Post.

    gus n teka

  14. Oh, and we wouldn't tell everyone this, but there are Two rabbits and ONE hamster living in our annex and we have never bothered them! Muzzer is going crazy figuring this out!


  15. Crikey Bertie ... a fox???? How lucky are you to get to chase a FOX. I'd love that even if I lost it. A fox!!!!! Crikey. I get to chase a Roo occasionally but a Fox!!! Now that would be special!! Before I came to live with Mum and Dad they had a wire called Lucy. She was just adorable!! Mum and Dad have told me a story about her where there was a big rat in the backyard hiding under some timber. They showed Lucy where it was thinking she would hunt it. They rattled the timber pile. The rat ran out and Lucy completely ignored it and ran straight back into the house and her cosy bed. What sort of a wire was she?????

  16. All I can say is that I have never ever seen a fox. Lizards aplenty. Muscovy ducks. Mourning doves. C.A.T.s. Other dogs. Nary a fox. Do I still have that prey instinct. When mom hides a toy and squeaks it under a pillow on the couch, I do go nuts for it and dive in to capture it. Rational? Instinctual?. Give me my kibble and treats and soft beds and cuddles and a few stray paper towels every day!

    Wirey love,

    Just Harry

  17. Phew, much better to leave Mr. Fox alone than go in pursuit only to be disappointed! Those foxes are so clever...maybe I could sniff him out for you but I'd be too scared! The only thing I want to hunt that I haven't been able to is truffles.

  18. Oh Bertie what would you ever do if you really caught up with the fox. Would you listen to What the fox say?
    Dog goes woof
    Cat goes meow
    Bird goes tweet
    and mouse goes squeek

    Cow goes moo
    Frog goes croak
    and the elephant goes toot

    Ducks say quack
    and fish go blub
    and the seal goes ow ow ow ow ow

    But theres one sound
    That no one knows
    What does the fox say?

    When you find out let me know Bertie
    Sweet William The Scot

  19. I would have done the same thing! I'm only a little bit terrier, but look out, Mr. Fox!

    Ruby (and Angel Pip)

  20. HAH. Allie's heard a bit of that from time to time when she's out with the peeps!

  21. It would happen to me all the time, if I wasn't always on leash. My helicopter parents just don't trust my nose.

    On a different note, just because you're a pet, it doesn't mean you can't be a working dog. I'm definitely a pet, for instance, but taking care of my parents is a full time job.