‘Hunting’ Is the Best Reason

Photo Courtesy John Platt

‘Hunting’ Is the Best Reason

Rudy the Dog as told to by Rudy’s Old Man, John Platt.

As a lot of you know I am a hunter. Crafted in the Sierra foothills from a wide variety of breeds, I am low to the ground, big pawed, long and sleek, born to hunt. Rescued from the pound by the Old Man and Old Woman at a year old, it took me awhile to get them trained.

There are many good reasons to go for walks, but hunting is the best. Squirrels, mice, raccoons, lizards and now, even deer; I have uncovered them all. Seeking out critters that are invading my world is my solemn duty.

With the arrival of warm weather, the world has exploded with life, birds, plants and all kinds of critters. The Old Man fancies himself a Hunter. The old guy looks ridiculous dressed in ill-fitting shorts (he has lousy legs), a floppy hat, strings holding his glasses, and frequently a mask. I pretend to ignore him as we go along but being attached to him hurts my image. Now get this!

You know what he hunts? Berries! What is with berries? Blackberries are a sticky mess with sharp spikes that mess up your face, they are too sweet and have nothing to gnaw on. What a waste of time!

Everyone knows when you are hunting your ears perk up (OK in my case only one ear perks up, my right one does go sideways at a rakish angle), my body is taut, nose sniffing and pointing, back arched, feet firmly planted, ready to pounce.

This is how a hunter looks not carrying a plastic bucket, humming, bending over picking berries. Instead of displaying the temper seen when he is challenged by an errant driver, the Old Man calmly picks off the thorny vines that entrap him and just goes back to picking with that ridiculous smile on his face. On particularly bountiful patches it seems we will never leave. We are supposed to be going for a walk! All I can do is lie down at a safe distance and hope to get to watch him jump if a particularly nasty bush catches him.

One good thing is the berries grow by fences. There is a lane by us and at the top and bottom of it blackberries abound. Yesterday, having bored me at the top of the lane we headed down toward his next “target” paralleling a wooden fence. Then I saw them. I tried to be cool, but two squirrels were animatedly chasing each other dashing from the top to the bottom of the fence. For years these varmints have taunted my steely stare and taut body.

The Old Man stumbled on. Trying to look nonchalant I was actually on high alert, as we bumbled along, my dream came true. A distracted squirrel stuck his head out the gap in the bottom of the fence. Flash! The hunter struck.

I pounced and grabbed that critter by his neck and began to shake. I don’t know who screamed louder the squirrel or the Old Man. Immediately the old codger was airborne yanking at my leash. He yanked me so hard I automatically released the squirrel, who dashed away.

No mind, I had caught one! For years from trees and fences squirrels have mocked me. My conquest, tail pumping, angrily chattered at me from the top of the fence. He was unhurt, but his pride was ruined. I finally got to show them who was the true animal king.

A stern lecture followed, but who cared. Slight crouch, doleful eyes, (a great act), I listened to the Old Man rant. But I had caught one and no one could take that away with me.

Shortly we were off to another bush and I pranced. I showed Old Floppy Shorts what a real Hunter is. There is always hope for the future.
On my toes and alert.

John Platt is Rudy’s Old Man who doesn’t know why he types these for him.