The reluctant ‘Come.’

The reluctant ‘Come.’

That is the best way to describe Chris’s behavior last evening.

I become pretty cocky when it comes to having Bernie and Chris obey my commands… Whether using my voice, my dog whistle or my very infrequent electronic ‘reminder.’

So last evening, as I was walking back to the car, Bernie was beside me, but I saw Chris about three hundred feet out in the field. He was actively messing around with something on the ground. He would back away and then quickly dart in and then quickly back away again.

It was too far for me to see what kept Chris’s attention, but I wanted him to get away from it and come to me.

I blew my dog whistle. I knew Chris heard it but didn’t respond. I blew it again and again with no result from him.

I didn’t hesitate; I tapped my electronic remote. It activated his training collar. At the same time, I continued to blow the whistle.

I saw Chris step back and shake his head. He felt the tingle from the training collar, but he charged right back at his target and then danced away.

For several seconds it became a remote dance for Chris. I would blow the whistle and tap the remote and Chris would shake his head and dance away and then dart back to whatever captured his full attention.

Finally, after about five times, he darted in and grabbed something and flashed away and came running to me.

His mouth was full of a now-dead full-grown pigeon.

I told Chris to drop it, and he did, as a few feathers stuck to his gums.

I felt bad. I don’t like to see any animal killed. I knew Chris was just responding to his strong prey drive. He is attracted to birds and chase them. However, in the past, the birds easily flew up and away without any damage.

I don’t know how he trapped the bird. Maybe it was already on the ground and injured. Now it was dead and laying in the road.

I couldn’t scold Chris. He did respond to my command. I did the only thing I could. I opened the back door of the car, and both Bernie and Chris scrambled into the back seat.

Then I went over and bent down and picked up the bird and tossed it toward a nearby wall. Unfortunately, my underhanded toss failed to clear the wall. The body thumped to the ground on this side of the wall.

Tomorrow we will visit this area for our exercise. I know the dogs will remember the bird. Before I let them out of the car, I will check to see whether some animal has carried away the bird or if I need to dispose of it. I don’t want Bernie and Chris to mess with it.

One thought on “The reluctant ‘Come.’

  1. Julia Haggerty

    Clifford was a relentless and very brave hunter. He would not allow any bird to land in his yard. He taught Ryan to hunt birds. One day two fledgling grackle birds were in and around the orange tree. I opened the back door and like lightening both poodles ran to the birds. Clifford caught his and dispatched it quickly, Ryan caught the other one but it was still alive within his paws and crying to be free. Clifford waited patiently, but when I called Ryan he came and Clifford killed it painlessly. Clifford didn’t always come when called but Ryan does at least so far.



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