Shame, I come to you with shame in my heart. You see, my double German hunting dog, just failed the most elemental test of being, well, full on Kraut and liking to hold dead things in his mouth. Naturally, I blame myself.
You see, we, out here on the wild and woolly prairies of Kansas, pride ourselves on being self-reliant. As an example, not too long after shacking up with the Mrs, my parents were coming over for supper. My soon to be wife asked me what should we have for supper? I told her, I don’t know and headed for the door to do something in the barn. It was fall, and I always had a shotgun near the door, in case woodchucks, or some such vermin, were seen capering about in the yard. As I started to open the door, I noticed a cock pheasant strolling through. I reached over and grabbed the ready 12 gauge, opened the door and popped Mr Pheasant, pretty as you please. The Mrs, having not known me for too long, but knowing I had a predilection for exploiting opportunities, did not flinch too badly when the loud boom went off. I retrieved the pheasant and as I walked back in the house, I announced that after thinking about it for a bit, we would be having pheasant for supper. Her version, often told, was she asked me what we should have for supper, I grabbed my shotgun, pointed out the door and said pheasant, and we did.
This spring, we had 2 wild turkey hens raise their broods in our yard, pretty much. They ended up with 12 or 13 poults and were seen just about every day. My dog, Sweet Pea spent his summer vacation at my Sister in Law’s place and did not get to see all the little turkeys chasing grasshoppers in the yard. By the time he came back, we were suffering through a rat invasion and he was totally focused on that particular problem. To the point of missing the forest, because his nose is glued to one scent, on one tree. He gets rather single minded at times.
I had been seeing turkey feathers in the yard and although I had not seen the turkey brood lately, I knew they were in the area. Our daily habit is the dog comes out with me when I open up the shop and front gate. He typically runs off to his favorite rat scent, gives a good sniff and rushes off to the next one and so on.
So, this morning, I open the back door and look out at the yard. There are all the turkeys, in the back yard, as the dog starts his run, I am thinking, turkey for supper. I reach for my shotgun, which is supposed to be near the back door, but is not, due to tuck-pointing on the stone wall. Grrr! My next thought is the dog will get at least one of the dozen or so delicious, mobile food items arrayed before him. It went down like this. I open the door and see the turkeys. The dog blasts past me as I reach back for the missing shotgun. The dog runs completely past the turkeys and heads to his first rat appointment. My mouth drops as the now agitated food items start lifting off from the yard, like clumsy, feathered cruise missiles, and head for all points. I yell at the dog to come back and get some! The 2 mother hens remained, looking at me with their mouths agape, and an expression of did you just see that? Yes, yes I did. The dog finally lifts his head and wonders what I am yelling about. He trots past the 2 remaining turkeys and that was the last straw, they lifted off and flew away, just barely clearing the fence. Turkeys are not great flyers.
As the dog approaches, I tell him in a loud voice that he is a failure. “Did you not see all the feathered meat as you ran past? Is it not your first job, to gather meat for the pack?? WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING, YOU MORON! You have failed me. What’s more I have failed me.” He was like, what? Yeah, what. The wife even gave me a look of “where’s supper, dude.”
There will be some remedial training going on and not just for the dog. We will be having turkey for supper, just not today. It is hard to keep a perky attitude when you and your dog are crowded into the same dog house.