Sometimes, I forget that my snugly, block headed baby is a dog driven by her heritage. Today was one of those days I was reminded.
I leaned over to check the planter I was watering. I usually watered until the soil was drenched and water seeped from the bottom of the pot. I don’t have a green thumb, but I enjoy creating my planters, and purchasing the numerous flowers and plants I need for the brief three months of growing season. It is one of the only artistic moments I enjoy.
Lulu was out roaming our fenced in half acre yard, and from the corner of my eye I caught a white flash speed across the grass and into the tree line. I did not look up. It takes little to no movement to activate her prey drive. A light breeze amidst the leaves is enough to send her racing, with head and nose held high.
I continued to admire my brief flash of artistry, pausing as I felt her presence behind me. I looked about five feet to my left, and gasped at the small animal lying in the grass below her broad smiling face. Lying limply in the grass was a small adolescent rabbit.
I stepped towards Lu as she slowly backed away panting. She was clearly offering me her kill, and it took everything I had not to scream NO at her. I looked up at that wide, happy grin. She was so pleased with herself. She had killed and provided. Hundreds of years of instinct had led her to this moment, and I could see the pure joy in her twinkling eyes.
I knelt slowly and touched the still warm little body. There wasn’t a mark on the rabbit, but I had watched her dispatch other small animals with a quick shake of her powerful neck. At least it had probably not suffered.
I love Lulu. She is one of the most affectionate dogs I’ve ever owned. She is also one of the most powerful, reactive dogs I’ve owned. Sometimes I forget she is driven by pure instinct – direct descendant of a long line of hunters. In the blink of an eye, that warm brown gaze is brushed aside by the ancestral forces that drive her, and I once again see the animal that dominates her actions.