Ramble On

Friday, October 7, 2011

Deer Vigilance

Tessie has been with us for just a bit more than six months now, and her personality has really begun to show.  She's still a bit shy around other dogs, but she has shown a real talent for training Mary and me to do what she wants.

Consider this morning routine: at 6:30, my alarm sounds.  Immediately, a dog face rises from the floor and gets into my face.  A few quick flicks of the tongue, then some pawing, until finally I sit up.  Then its a charge downstairs to wait for me to put on my shoes, and we're off for our walk at 6:35.  I haven't moved that fast in the morning since those training instructors at Lackland AFB charged into the room throwing the big trash cans around.

Once we are on the walk, we have two main routes in the morning, and there are favorite stops along the way.  At around 6:45 these days, the daylight is beginning, and the squirrels come into view, so we have our excitement.

Back at the house by 7:00.  I take the leash off outside on the porch and open the door.  Tessie leaps inside, then gallops to the back of the house, where Mary has gotten the breakfast prepared. Nothing else happens during the 18.4 seconds it takes to eat that Taste of the Wild goodness.

Another interesting trait of hers is about the deer we often see in the yard at Hawksbill Cabin.  I'm not sure if she knows what they are, but she is intensely curious about them. 

At the moment, there is a herd of about 3 does with fawns, and a young four-point buck that are feasting on this years acorn crop.  They're out in the yard in the morning and evening, and sometimes they'll make a stop by at mid-day.

Tessie has been lucky to see them quite a few times, and when she does, she puts on the "border collie eye" and settles in to watch them.  There's no movement on her part, and there's no distracting her if you talk to her during this time.

On Saturday night, as I sat out on the brick terrace with the fire pit going, we heard some rustling in the woods on the east side of the house, where they come to within 20 feet or so.  As you can see in the picture, Tessie padded silently, cat-like, over to a vantage point to see if she was going to be able to spy on the passing deer.  She sat there are good five minutes in the crouch.

It was the buck - he did his huff-and-puff sound when he caught wind of us.  Tessie only settled more firmly into the crouch, to watch.

No comments: