View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Wednesday, May 07, 2003
I don't normally write about the dog. He's a lab, but I usually assume he's a lot like other dogs, and, like other people's children, would get real boring real fast. But this morning, he showed a ability to learn on his own that surprised me. For at four years old, I also assumed his thinking days were over.

He loves to chase Jacobin squirrels, but although he's big, the squirrels are fast, and while he's running for his breakfast, they're running for their lives. Up until now, he had also headed straight for the squirrel. I don't know if he's been watching old NFL games on ESPN Classic or something, but this morning, he saw a squirrel who was 1) far enough from a tree to be interesting, and 2)unaware of his presence. He stalked the critter for a little but, and then headed off towards the squirrel, but angling off to the right by a few feet. He was clearly anticipating the squirrel heading for the tree, guessed that it would be to the right, and was trying to lead the squirrel and "get the angle" on him. The squirrel, also not too bright, did indeed head off the right, but too slowly, so Sage found himself between the squirrel and the tree, eyeball-to-eyeball for a few moments.

The squirrel was way too nimble for Sage, who's next step has to be scooping up moving objects on the fly, but Sage really had outsmarted him, and I thought for a moment he'd have his first kill. Just as well, or he would have been impossible to live with.

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