|© courtesy k.m.|
Tanner's Proud Catch
After letting Tanner out to take care of business, I went to grab Oliver and join him in the yard. Before I could reach the door, my doorbell rang and a neighbor appeared, beckoning me to hurry and see Tanner. She was laughing and encouraging me to come quickly, so I immediately knew that this was not a dangerous situation, yet was still intensely curious about what was up with Tanner.
Leaving Oliver behind, I ran into the yard, noting that my friend's car was still running and parked in the street. That gave me pause, wondering what could possibly have been interesting enough for her to stop so suddenly. When she said "Tanner has a fish!", my first inclination was to assume he found a discarded catch from the lake we live on. Then I immediately became worried about the condition of the fish and health issues.
All of this happened in a matter of seconds as I raced around the yard trying to catch up to my dog who was parading around as if to show off his gold medal. Was he ever a proud fisherman!
I finally caught up to Tanner as he dropped to rest a moment on the driveway. My friend was quick to grab the only photo with her handy phone, before I proceeded to be the tough mom and do what I had to do. I asked Tanner to Sit and he slowly--very slowly--assumed the position, peering at me with those soft brown eyes, as if to say, "Can I please keep him, Mom?"
"Good boy, Tanner. Now, Drop It!" Even as I said the words, I was convinced he would not give up his treasure. Certain I would have to pry it out of his mouth in pieces, I gasped with pride when he opened his mouth and allowed the fish to drop to the ground. All those obedience classes paid off in spades as I collected his catch with a rag and praised him heartily for showing me the Drop It command that we practice in our Fetch games so regularly. Who knew that a game could have such a profound effect on my dog's health and our relationship. I thought of the Weekly Wag Fetch series we just completed and smiled inside.
Tanner watched as I investigated his prize. I was pleased to find that the fish was fresh, and to hear the story of its acquisition from my friend. This gets better yet....
Living on a lake and near a State park, Hawks live all around us. My office window looks out on a favorite hunting ground of one local Hawk, who frequently sits atop the neighborhood tennis court fence, watching for rodents in the grassy areas nearby.
Today's fish had been the freshwater catch of one of these Hawks, whose eyes were apparently a bit bigger than his bulk. As the fish flapped and wiggled, the Hawk lost its grip and dropped it in our yard, only to further lose his victim when Tanner scooped it up and proceeded to parade it around the yard. I'm sure that Hawk was not prepared to take on 70-lb. Tanner.
I still wish I could hear the story from Tanner's perspective. Some of it was told in the coming days, as Tanner inspected the yard, looking for more treasures that had fallen from the sky. Not a bad fish story for a dog, eh?