Friday, October 11, 2019

A bird in the mouth...

Mr. Darcy has a new philosophy in life.

On our twice-a-day walks, we let Darcy loose for the first half (on the flats) and keep him on his retractable leash as we head down the hill through the woods (or he'll dash off and we'll never see him again). Frequently after he's leashed up and the road goes into the woods, we'll see flocks of quail.

Needless to say, Darcy sees them too.

Being a hunting breed, his instincts are to chase after everything that moves, so whenever we see quail, we keep a tight grip on the leash. Until last week.

One afternoon we saw a small flock of quail which trotted on the road ahead of us, well out of Darcy's reach. Then suddenly, as quail do, the flock flew off into some bushes away from the road. Thinking they were out of danger, we released Darcy's leash length and let him roam a bit further ahead. Suddenly he lunged into an embankment and seized a stray bird.

Well, no sense trying to force him to release the quail only to have an injured bird flopping about. May as well let him mercifully kill it, so we let him keep the quail in his mouth.

Well I must say we had a most peaceful walk after that. Darcy didn't tack from side to side across the road, chasing after scents. He didn't pull or yank on the leash. He just walked sedately ahead, conveniently out of close grabbing reach, with his trophy. "Uffing 'oo 'ee 'ere, I'm uss 'ine..."

He didn't dare drop the bird, of course, or we'd have taken it away.

Most of the time he stayed well ahead of us, clutching his prize. And oh, was he a proud boy. He caught a quail! All by himself!

The only time he would release his precious trophy was when he knew we were too far away to grab it from him.

So Darcy's new philosophy is: "A bird in the mouth is worth two in the bush." Why chase after other quail when he has one firmly in his mouth?


  1. He apparently didn't have a "soft mouth." ;-)

  2. This is why a lot of dog owners let their dog carry their favorite toy/ball in their mouth when they take them for a walk.

  3. This reminded me of sometime back when I had 3 dogs to contend with. I took them to a safe area and they would all go off leash, really they were all very well behaved. A lot of other people would also take their dogs walking off leash in that area. One of my dogs was a chihuahua that was really into the eating and food department. As it turned out a elderly woman would also walk in that area and toss peanuts in the shell for squirrels. So one day my chihuahua got a hold of a peanut and kept it in his mouth for the entire walk till we got back to the car where he ate it and was quite satisfied with himself. He did this often looking for those stray peanuts.

  4. "Just doin' my job, Maam."

    "I am Wolf! Hear me howl."

  5. My three beagles (leashed) once came upon a nest of baby rabbits and ugh. The dogs thought, "We love the convenient snack size!" Nature red in tooth and claw, as Tennyson said.