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Friday, March 23 2012


Because of the hog problem on the ranch, it has become necessary to expose certain members of the family to gunfire lest I have to shoot at a hog and find myself with three scared dogs racing off into the forest.

So Other Half and I loaded up the mule with dogs and a couple of rifles and headed to the creek. The deep sandy banks provide a safe place to shoot.

Plan:  Shoot rifle. Observe dogs. Reinforce good behavior.

Execution of Plan:

Remind dogs they need to stay in mule. Walk to bank. Fire shot.

Result:

Lily starts wildly barking. 

Dillon is quietly stimulated but clearly thrilled.

Trace - "WTF!" 

It's hard to tell if Trace is frightened of gunfire, or Lily's psychotic behavior.

Observe dogs closely while Other Half shoots at a distance. Same result. Praise dogs for staying in mule. Shoot again. Same result. Praise dogs for staying in mule. Note Trace's growing anxiety. Stop exercise for a game of fetch.

See? Endure the couple of shots, and then we'll play a rompin' good game of fetch!

Lily is almost intoxicated. Gunfire has overstimulated her. Dillon is giddy. Something in his genes appears to have kicked in.  Trace is relieved.

Am somewhat assured that in Real Case Scenario the dogs won't bolt and run into the forest at the sound of gunfire.

Next Day: Real Case Scenario

Other Half escorts us on Morning Walk. He is concerned about hogs. He is armed. I am armed. Dogs are unarmed. (Except for Lily who is always armed with a quick wit.)  Because Other Half wishes to creep up on corn feeder, he splits from road and goes around pond to get to back side of feeder. Dogs and I continue our merry way. We are not quiet.  Other Half radios that turkeys are headed our way.  Sure enough, two nice fat turkeys pop out of forest, see us, and happily fly away. Cool.  We radio back. We are not quiet. Dogs are zoom zooming in pasture behind pond. Other Half exits forest and joins us. We chit chat. We are not quiet.

Happen to glance over shoulder and see eight large piglets crossing back of pasture - WHERE WE JUST CAME FROM! WTF!! 

I call dogs. Thankfully all three come bouncing over. Other Half takes the long shot.  BOOM!

Trace hits the deck.  "HOLY CRAP!" 

Trace zooms to my side. Lily begins to wildly bark. Dillon bounces TOWARD THE GUNFIRE!

 

He arrives at Other Half's side. Pigs are gone. Dillon stares with excitement. Something has awakened in his seven month old brain.

Pat Trace and quickly grab up a stick. (If you survive the Boom, we will play fetch.)  We play fetch while Other Half keeps an eye out for more hogs. Once more, Lily is intoxicated with power. Dillon is assured that gunfire equals the coolest game in the world, and Trace is satisfied that the world has not ended.

Walk to other end of field. No dead pig. We won't discuss who missed that shot. In his defense, it was a long shot and they were moving quickly. Son however, will not be as gracious as me. He will give his father much grief about missed shot.

I am just happy that our practice the day before paid off. Clearly Trace could become really gunshy if we don't play our cards right. Clearly Dillon is not. Clearly Lily is a psycho,

but then, we already knew that.  And we love her anyway!

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 12:40 pm   |  Permalink   |  3 Comments  |  Email
Comments:
just catching up with the last few posts. not a gun girl up here near Boston, but no wild sows around, either. thanks for explaining it so clearly. from the picture it seems like the "mule" is some sort of motorized vehicle for you and OH and dogs to travel over ranch terrain - is that about right? am very glad you and OH are committed to training and planning and having the right tools for each job - that's what keeps all of you (two and four leggeds) safe, as far as I can see. and I am glad you are ALL safe and together.
Posted by clairesmum on 03/24/2012 - 08:01 PM
Dillon has obviously been well bred to be a good helper during duck hunting season. Maybe he'll be a hog-fetching dog too :-)
Posted by Terri's Pal on 03/24/2012 - 10:30 PM
Yes, the mule(also called a "gator") is like a golf cart on steroids. It easily accomodates 2 humans and 3 dogs. I LOVE it. Ours is a Kubota. On MY birthday a few years ago, OH bought HIMSELF this mule. While Dillon shows promise as a good bird hunting dog, those hogs play for keeps, so I'll be keeping Dillon far away from them. I'm just happy he doesn't run from the gun fire. That would seriously be dangerous around those hogs.
Posted by forensicfarmgirl on 03/25/2012 - 09:53 AM

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