Monday, June 2, 2014


Treed Squirrel, Chicago, IL
Trophy Branch, Chicago, IL

Somewhere deep within my grand dog Rosemary’s DNA resides a strand of encoded hunting instincts wrapped around a sequence that must have been very desirable in her long distant ancestry. Men who made a living or a life hunting wildlife most assuredly noticed that this particular breed had a knack for ferreting out rabbits and partridge that enabled them to fill their game bags with greater frequency in less time.

When Rosemary is out for her Walk-a-Thon morning, noon and night she immediately and instinctively switches from being a playful house pet to being a serious safari hunter. No Apache Indian scout could ever match her ability to track the path of a rabbit that had been out during the night foraging on the urban blue grass between the concrete sidewalks and asphalt streets. No squirrel trail goes unnoticed that circumscribed the trunk of a giant oak tree as he gathered acorns that survived the long winter’s grasp. Not one kindred spirit of the dog kingdom that has marked his territory over the past week is without detection.

No respected hunter ever strikes for home without bearing a trophy of the hunt. The journey of the pursuit and the ability to outwit your worthy opponent brings on an adrenaline rush so familiar to anyone who has ever carried a shotgun into a dense plum thicket in the fall. The exploding rise of a covey of quail will trigger all sorts of instantaneous physical and emotional responses! But the satisfaction of filling up the game bag with your limit from a hard day’s hunt is the most rewarding.

And so it is with Rosemary and the triggered response to the finality of a good walk not spoiled. When she’s reasoned that the hunt has been a success and it’s time to “head for the house”, she simply picks out a trophy branch along the trail and sets a focused, headlong course back home. The branch is not released from her jaws until it has been securely brought inside and placed in the coffee cup trophy case marked with a scrolling capital “R”. Then and only then are the planets in alignment and the world is as you like it. We should all be so dedicated to a job well done!

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