Monday, May 28, 2007

Wild Thing

My dog Lucky seemed to have a past. A past during which he had spent some time wild in the woods. I always suspected his owner's yard had been demolished by hurricane Hugo, and Lucky had taken the opportunity to escape.

He was shy, but I coaxed him out of the woods with some dogfood and he and I agreed that he would live with me thereafter. Life was good.
You wonder how a wild dog survives. Twice he showed me some remarkable food-acquiring skills.

One late summer day I was sitting quietly on my back stairs, sipping a beer. Lucky was loafing in the grassy area of our dirt driveway circle. Not really paying attention at first, I saw him get up and start snuffling the ground with his nose like some kind of crazy roothog. Trying to plow up some turf with his nose. Crazy dog, I mused. Lucky lay back down and became motionless again. About two minutes went by. A robin alit near him and started hopping near where Lucky had apparently stirred up some bugs with his nose. Dinner for robin.
So robin, picking at bugs, hops a bit closer to Lucky, and Lucky smoothly puts out his paw and pins robin to the ground. Dinner for Lucky.

I barely believed my eyes. "Holy S-word!" I shouted. Lucky looked up, thinking I was scolding him, removed his paw from robin, and robin flew away, no doubt shaken. "Sorry, Lucky," I called to him. He looked at me accusingly.

One other time I saw Lucky get a free meal from the wild in a way that shocked me. Walking the perimeter of the property in late spring, I noticed a fledgling baby bird just out of the nest, swaying unsteadily on a branch about seven feet off the ground. Lucky noticed him, too. As I walked away from that area, Lucky began a hard charge towards that bird, right in front of it, locking eyes on that birdie as he leaped high, right towards the bird! And I knew that Lucky was not going to make a seven-foot leap, and I think Lucky knew, too. But the bird was so frightened he fell off the limb! And Lucky got a snack.

No comments: