Thursday 14 October 2010

Yesterday’s walk - Gus grows up and a small tragedy

Gus carries the Air Kong
Gus is 13½ months old now and growing into quite a big boy. He learns very quickly and is a wonderful retriever, always keeping his eye on the ball or the Air Kong. He is as fast over ground as Jenna and nearly as speedy as her in the water but there is one area in which he has taken time to mature. All our other dogs cocked their legs the day they turned six months old but Gus was content to continue discreetly squatting, like Jenna, until yesterday, when he cocked his leg for the very first time. We felt that our little boy had come of age!
Two dogs, one Kong and Jenna, on the right, wins the prize.
Gus is intent on taking part in the 2012 Olympics and has been practising hard for the Long Jump event. So far he has only practised over water and still has to perfect his landing. At the moment his tail ruins any chance of breaking a record, I’m afraid.
Like all good athletes Gus mentally rehearses his jump
 Like a tightly coiled spring he is ready to leap forward
Uncoiled and almost airborne
Preparing for touchdown - the tail is going to spoil the jump!
As we returned from the practice arena, otherwise known as the forest, we noticed a sad little corpse. It was not there when we set out and we could see no cause of death. 
We are sure this adult had only recently met its death as the scavengers had not yet started their grisly work.
Normally we only see dead squirrels  on the roads – we have never found one in the garden and it’s rare to see a corpse in the forest. The last time we saw one was  a few years ago when Frodo was quite young. In fact, he found it and gently picked it up and brought it to me. He didn’t notice this one.


  1. The long-jump over water will definitely have to be part of the Olympics. Such fun!!
    Sad about the squirrel. Imagine Frodo picking one up gently and bringing it to you. Wonderful retriever instincts.
    I'm afraid circumstances have overcome any retriever instincts Lindy, our Golden, ever had. She was found last year wandering wild, and became available for us to adopt after the SPCA turned her over to SOS, a pet rescue organization in our area. They could tell she was a sweet, lovable girl and needed a loving home. But she now sees everything in terms of food. She is finally getting over thinking every other dog is in competition with her for food, however.
    Give Gus a pat on the head for us, and tell him we're glad male instinct won over Jenna-mimicking, so he won't get teased at the Boys' Club.

    Kay, Alberta

  2. Gus is definitely a finely tuned athlete. You can just see the rippling muscles.

    Gosh, the only dead squirrels I've ever seen have been in the road.

  3. Thanks Kay! Glad to hear that your love has encouraged Lindy's confidence. Stray dogs are always such a sad sight - they're meant to have human company.
    As for Frodo, I wish we'd encouraged his retrieving but he's pretty good for a Dalmatian :-)

  4. Whoops, Kay, you sneaked in while my back was turned. I won't tell Gus what you said - he'll only get a big head and goodness knows it's big enough already, literally ;-)

  5. That poor little squirrel...
    Gus is a great jumper, and your photos caught the action perfectly.

  6. Thanks for stopping by to visit my blog. Gus IS a big boy...even bigger than my brother, Quinn, who is a standard American Eskimo! I am a minature so sometimes he is a little overwhelming...but I let him know from his first day with us that I was the boss! You have a lovely place for adventures.

  7. I think I used to follow your photos from the different photo themes before I left for a bit.

    Love the photos of Gus, what a handsome fellow. =) Sad about the squirrel.

  8. Aww, well done Gus for cocking the leg! I had a Boxer many years ago who, despite being all male in every way, never did manage to cock his leg. My late father would stand on one leg next to trees, lamp posts etc. when we took Bruce for walks, trying to demonstrate what was required of him, much to my embarrasment and the amusement of passers by, but Bruce continued to squat discreetly.
    Love and hugs, Sylvia, using anonymous seems easier xx


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