Sunday, August 15, 2010

1.5 Percenters ... A Bear Tale

Look at me, Master, see how attentive and almost angelic I am?
How could you ever get aggravated with me?

I am completely focused on you, YOU, and only you. I am an obedience school graduate ... honors graduate, and I only exist to do your bidding and make you smile.

You say "Jump!", and I say "How ..."

... hey wait a minute ...

... Chickens?
See them? M-U-S-T F-I-G-H-T U-R-G-E ...

Whew !

I'm okay ... just give me a minute ... what was I saying?

Something about being an angel as I recall ... yes, that was it, you know I' m a good boy and you can count on me to be at your beck and call, perfectly obedient, and adoring.

Just look at me ... it's written all over my face.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Do not be fooled by that sweet exterior or the canine chattering above.

Oh sure it's true about 98.5% of the time, but that other 1.5% ... good golly, it's as if he's channeling Marley.

I show you the very short video clip below just to set the scene for the last Marleyesque episode Bear had.

Excuse the junk, we have been painting the house and all the porch clutter and paint stuff is stacked in the back "yard".

Go ahead and watch it (again) and I will explain Bear's most recent 1.5% episode.

A few days ago, Tropical Depression # 4 or 5 slid past in the Gulf, which was wonderful as it brought fresh breezes and sheets of heavy rain.

I loves me some heavy rain.

Anyway, it was during a particularly heavy band of tropical rain that Bear and I stepped out on to the porch.
I did not leash him as is my habit.

The rain was coming down so heavy, I thought it would keep him on the porch while we enjoyed the downpour.
Yes, I know he's a lab and that rain is water, but usually he is content to remain on the porch if it's really coming down.

At some point, I had the bright idea to walk around the L-shaped porch to the back side.

Everything was fine until we neared the back steps and there were the 3 veteran free ranging roosters.

His ears went up.
I commanded, "LEAVE IT!"

For a moment, he hesitated.

I moved forward, quickly reaching for that red collar.

He cleared all 3 steps and hit the grass running as the roosters scattered like shrapnel.

At this point, I was still optimistic that he would respond and return ... he hasn't had a chicken relapse in a very long time ... and I had the camera on to film the rain for y'all, so I shot that clip above.

The reason it's so short is ... he did NOT return promptly.

In fact it was a caninopoultristic catastrophy in the making, so I set the camera down on a bucket of paint and plunged out into the rain.

In about two seconds I was completely drenched.

Bear managed to catch a rooster who promptly played dead ... or fainted. I don't really know which.

We ran around and around in this driving rain, me yelling, him playfully staying 20 feet ahead of me with the rooster flopping in his massive jaws.

At some point, he stopped to rearrange the rooster and it dashed into heavy brush.

Bear paused on the edge of the thick grapevine tangle and I raced towards him.

Even as I closed the gap between us I saw him lift his head and inhale deeply of some scent that was even more tantalizing than rooster ... deer? the girl dog next door?

Whatever it was, he was off like a shot again.

To shorten this story just a bit ... For the next 15 minutes, I ran through my woods, the neighbor's woods, through an overgrown vineyard, and a defunct plant nursery littered with fence wire, pots, and other debris ... all in a driving rain and yelling the whole time ... except when I was desperately gasping for air.

It was all a game for him and his obedient 98.5% brain shut down so that the 1.5% Medulla Marleyonglata organ could take control.

Somewhere past the defunct nursery and deep in someone else's woods, he paused and seemed to come to his senses.

I stopped with about 20 feet between us ... dreading the sudden bolting that I fully expected.
I crouched and tried to call him, but my voice was shot.

Somehow I croaked out, "Touch" ... which is his command to come nuzzle my hand for a training treat.

He came.

I grabbed his collar, leading him through the woods and back to PFHQ.

Back at the house, soaked, tired, and ... just a little bit angry, I put him in time out and put some distance between us.
For his protection.

A little while later, after a hot shower and some dry clothes improved my outlook on things, I commuted his sentence from solitary confinement to rolling on the rug and hugging.

I can only be mad at him for about 1.5% of the time and that time was up.


lisa said...

Not only a water dog, but a bird dog too! Did you forget ;)

amarkonmywall said...

You're just full of great videos. :-) This one has me laughing out loud and the cats looking alarmed. In the same way that you cheer, "Go, Bud!"? I say, "Go, Bear!"
Love it.

Sharon said...

There's a reason why God made dogs so darn cute. I have a Jack Russell, so I can relate LOL, although Bear has a much higher obedience-to-bonehead ratio than my Zeke, but we're still working on it ;)

Ericka said...

my friends have a yellow lab mix who looks JUST like marley. after 4 years, they can leave the leash off while in their fenced back yard.

glad your chickens made it out alive!

Caroline said...

Substitute Jack Sparrow for Bear, add bare feet, subtract chicken. Schnauzers would be happily right on his heels given that kind of a romp through the rain! This is despite the fact that under normal conditions 3 drips of water on his back will send him into a rolling frenzy of trying to dry off.
Man, can I relate to the 15 minute chase and subsequent time out!

threecollie said...

Been there
Done that
But not in the rain.
Sorry about how hard I am laughing.

Kenneth said...

How did the rooster fare?

Deb said...

Ah, the dog brain. There are things they know they are not supposed to do, but still...gotta love 'em!

Dani said...

I'm afraid Maggie is gonna be a lot like Bear. She just lives to chase The Girlz.

I hope you're having a good morning back in the classroom. :)

debbie said...

Too bad no one filmed you chasing after Bear. Your story was funny, but a video would be even funnier.

The Florida Blogger said...

You try to get Bear from eating chickens, I try to get my English Bullie from eating crap. Oh, the life of a dog owner.

Kathy said...

I couldn't help but think of that talking dog in the Up movie who is always distracted by...SQUIRREL! ha!

roger said...

nice workout partner ya got there. he sets a grueling pace.

Cathy S. said...

Been there done that. Once, long ago, when we had chickens (before the Island Bob Cats ate them all,we had a bird dog, a Vizsla. One day, she brought me a Rhode Island Red hen, all limp and dead looking. The poor bird was in shock from the mangling, but still alive. I put her in a dog crate in teh kitchen and nursed her back to health. After that, we were best buds and when she recovered well enough to go back outside, she would sit outside my kitchen window and peek at the glass asking to let back inside. Hope the rooster is okay, and that you and Bear are adjusting to being cooped (pun intended) back up again in the classroom. Or did you get the other job?

Floridacracker said...


The rooster is okay and none the worse for wear.

Bear has been in the 98.5% zone since that event ... well, there is a big scratch on my nose, but that really wasn't his fault.
I started the wrestling match.

School is back in, but still a week before any kiddies.

Octohawk said...

I wish I still lived in Colorado for Tank's sake. He'd have been a helluva bird dog with that nose and unrelenting desire to chase and find anything that moves. But because he's half beagle, he's not a 1.5% dog.. more like 50-50.
He's cute as hell, though, which makes it impossible to kill him ;)

Floridacracker said...

That damn CUTENESS factor!!!
...Gets me every time... lucky for Bear.