Whatever mix of mutts Silas is, somewhere in there is a really good hunting dog. He doesn’t have the temperament for real-world hunting, but he definitely has the skills. He’s especially good at treeing squirrels and at finding things.
Alas, Silas lives with a pair of more-or-less vegetarians in a townhouse in a very large city. We do chase the odd squirrel at the park, but that’s as far as it goes.
There is one time, though, that Silas’s instincts as a mighty hunter get put to work.
It goes like this: Silas leaps up, eyes fixed on something.
I look up, and see that there is a fly. I go to the laundry room, and get the fly swatter.
Silas, quivering with anticipation, tracks the fly through the house. He’ll do this for fifteen minutes if he has to. Truthfully, it wouldn’t take me so long if he helped just a little less.
Finally, I swat the fly and show him its little dead body.
He dances with joy.
When I say he’s very good at this, I am not joking. Last night, the fly made a futile attempt to hide from Silas under the bookcase, where it met its fate in a spiderweb. I lost track of the fly, so I asked Silas to find it. He immediately started pawing the ground in front of the bookcase. I didn’t believe him–what kind of fly goes under a bookcase?–but when I finally looked, there it was.
It’s too bad we only get one or two flies a month.