The Ferocious Feather?

Ray, being a Shepherd/Rotti X, can be quite a daunting sight if upset. I know from experience!

He is very noticeable by his size, his deep “woof!”, and his piercing eyes if you happen to be his cause for concern. He has a very large mouth, a really good set of teeth, and a jaw which (I am told) can severe a man’s arm if desired. With these tools of intimidation and destruction at his disposal, you would think that ……………. well perhaps I should start from the beginning!

Ray was out in the garden a month or two ago when he suddenly stopped, his head went down, and he stared directly ahead. What on earth was he seeing that I was missing? Apart from a few leaves and a feather from a medium size bird (mourning dove?), I could see nothing of interest.

His body was rigid as he just focused on …………………….. what? I waited and he eventually started moving very slowly with his body close to the ground. Was he sensing something just below the surface? A chipmunk moving along its tunnel perhaps? I was still looking ahead of him expecting to suddenly see a cat, a racoon, or perhaps a skunk. His whole demeanor eliminated the possibility of a squirrel.

While he was slowly moving across the grass, I was scanning the area for a cause but with no luck. Was he hallucinating perhaps? Had he eaten something that was giving him a perception issue? We continued at a snail’s pace until he stopped. His focus was now so strong that I am pretty sure I could have dropped a handful of Greenies in front of him and he would not have noticed.

He started moving again and right in front of him was the feather. It moved a little as a slight breeze caught it and Ray hesitated. Once it settled down on the grass, he once again slowly moved towards it until he was able to reach out with his nose to touch it. His recoil after touching the feather was quite something to see. He moved to touch it again and, this time, appeared satisfied that it was no threat to him! Great deduction buddy! Why did it take you so long?

So now I am thinking that we have this 75lb dog with all sorts of issues from his past life, who can be quite intimidating (and usually for the wrong reasons), and who decides that a solitary feather should be approached with extreme caution! I think it is going to be some time before we can figure this guy out.

3 thoughts on “The Ferocious Feather?

    • Absolutely! When Ray was picked up as a stray, he was nervous about everybody and everything. The feather may simply have been something new to him (who knows what happened in his past), and/or the slight movement may have brought it “to life” from his perspective. His recoil, I would suggest, was simply his reaction to the feather tickling his nose which to him may have seemed like an unacceptable gesture by the feather!


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