In Illinois there were squirrels. They were all over the place in our neighborhood. There were TONS of them. Sometimes they’d come in our fence and have to run like crazy to get our before Alex or Kirby could get to them. Sometimes the dogs came close, but often it wasn’t a contest.
In Colorado, especially where we are, there are rabbits. They seem to congregate in an area near our apartment where we walk the dogs. On any given night, we can see 5 or more of them sitting in the grass.
Sugar and Kirby, because we live in an apartment, need to be walked. We can’t just let them out and let them do their business and come back. The boys have the responsibility of walking the dogs. They don’t have many regular chores because they are responsible for the dogs when they are home. David takes Sugar and Michael takes Kirby. Michael isn’t big enough to handle Sugar when she sees something she wants and decides to run after it.
The dogs have retractable leashes and choke collars for when the boys take them out. This seems to work well. Depending on where we are going, I will trade the retractable leash for a regular one, but most often we use the retractable leashes.
Chris and I take the dogs in the morning before the boys go to school and we will take them out before we go to bed (usually this is Chris because he usually stays up later).
Walking the dogs often makes me smile. For the most part, Kirby ignores the rabbits. But every once in a while, she will decide that she wants to chase one. Sugar, on the other hand, LOVES to go after rabbits. Sugar is amazingly fast (she is part greyhound) and she has learned just how far she can go before she runs out of leash. She will run after a rabbit, heading in different directions depending on where the rabbit runs. Most of the time the rabbits are smart enough to run until they are out of Sugar’s sight. When they aren’t, Sugar will pull and pull until she gains more leash. Even planting my feet doesn’t completely help when she is doing this.
When she is going after a rabbit, she will “stalk” it. She crouches down and gets very still. She waits for, I don’t know what she waits for, but then all of a sudden she will take off at full-speed. We can see the hunter/tracker genes at work when she does this.
The interesting thing is, that Sugar will also try to flush out the rabbits. She will head to the bushes, when there aren’t rabbits to chase, and try to get in and around them to find the rabbits. She is very talented and frequently finds them. While she has never caught one, she has come very close.
We wonder what she would do with one if she caught it, anyway. Would she just keep running and try to play with it? Would she kill it? I hope we never have to find out.