Little Monkey is a hunter supreme; speciality cats – or any other small moving creature. Most dogs respond to movement and will not notice a cat when it is lying absolutely still, curled up and ready to spring. Not so LM. She sees all!
Walking round the block I know when she’s spotted something by watching her body language change. The “I’ve seen a cat!” posture has a certain stillness to it, as well as the obvious alertness. So ears up, intent fixed staring, and freeze.
I follow her gaze and sure enough I’ll eventually see a cat, silently hunched and still as a mouse, watching us; debating whether it has to actually get up and walk/run away, or if the silly ‘wolf on a lead’ is no threat.
One time Mr Spaghetti Legs, LM and I were on the last leg of the walk, approaching the ‘gauntlet’, when LM went through the whole process detailed above. I looked in the direction she was fixated on, but could see nothing. Looked at LM again. Definitely something there. Looked again, and finally I saw a black cat, hunched up, feet tucked in, sitting way up high on the top of a white pillar at the entrance to someone’s property a few metres away.
Now, you’ve probably all watched some Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer, and know that you can snap a dog out of this unwanted behaviour. A quick tug on the lead, or a tap with your fingers to the dog’s shoulder will normally do the trick. This works perfectly with SL; a well-balanced dog.
Again, not so LM! I tapped her neck. No change. I tapped harder. Her eyes remained glued on the black cat. She wasn’t going to snap out of this that easily! So I pushed her harder with my fingers, on her hip. Her whole body skewed round like a banana, her back legs skidding across the road.
Still her head did not move, her eyes did not shift from the cat, and her attention did not waver for one moment.
By this time I am laughing out loud! (If I ever get locked up, it will be from laughing like this when walking my dogs!) I took her face in my hands and moved it away, while her eyes slewed to the side still trying to see the cat. I stood in front of her, blocking her view.
At last the line of sight was broken, and we went on our way; me blocking, LM desperately trying to see the cat.
LM is not the brightest of dogs; it takes her a long time and many, many, many repetitions to learn new things, and then you must always maintain the routine with no variation, or it’s back to repeating another thousand times!
Now here is the amazing thing. A few days later we walked that way again. As we neared the white pillar, I noticed LM behaving oddly. She was moving her head from side to side, her eyes fixed on the top of the pillar. She was looking for the cat!
She truly is a supreme hunter!