Sunday, April 1, 2012

Who is smarter, the dog or the master?

My Nemesis.
The shrieking was disturbing.
It was definitely Winston. He had raced into the woods after something or other, and now he was carrying on as if it was the end.
And I was worried.
This never happens. My two springers are many things, but wanderers they are not. They usually hang just six metres from me, at most. Dexter was sitting at my feet gnawing snow from his paws at that very moment.
But with Winston crying as if he was being gutted, he was now on full red alert and charging down the steep ravine to see what was up.
Foxes, I thought. That damn beautiful red fox has gotten Winston alone, and being a hard-muscled wild animal, is now feasting on my soft-bellied dog's entrails.
So off I ran to the ridgeline to see what I could see.
Dexter had found Winston. He was licking his brother's  face as he screeched 15 metres down the steep slope.
The pudgy spaniel's ass had broken through the crust of the snow and he couldn't pull his bulk back up onto the surface.
"Are you kidding me, Winston?" I said.
I was angry. I had been scared, worried he was getting mauled by a fox.
Instead, he was simply stuck.
"C'mon," I said. "Come boy. Let's go home. C'mon."
More wimpering and screeching.
Dexter raced up the hill, looked at me imploringly and then raced back down across the crust to his brother, as if to say, "This is serious."
"C'mon you fat bastard. Get up the hill."
He just looked at me with his big brown eyes and screeched some more.
"Are you kidding me? You are truly an idiot."
So I began the slog down to rescue him. Every step I broke through up to my upper thigh. It was slow going. And all the while, the little dog was emitting ear-piercing shrieks.
"Shut up, I'm coming."
Eventually, I was within a couple of metres of him.
"OK, Winnie, let's get you out."
At which point, he leapt out of the hole and ran up the hill to Dexter. Took him all of four seconds.
I was at the bottom of a steep ridge in snow up to my waist.
Looking up, Winston was at the ridgeline, his tongue lolling out waiting for me.
He seemed to be saying, "Hurry up."
"I'm going to kill you," I muttered, before beginning the slow, sweaty hike up the hill to trail and, eventually, home.

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