The Mighty Hunter

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.

Killing flies.

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.

14 thoughts on “The Mighty Hunter

  1. It must be wonderful for Silas to feel powerful and accomplished!

    Ruby loves fly-hunting, too! She also likes to paw at ants on the patio in the summer. My elkhound, Freya, was scared of flies – poor dear would hide in another room if there was one buzzing about – earning her nickname, Afraida.

    I’m also a mostly-vegetarian (seafood at restaurants) and have to rise above the gross-out factor for things like bully sticks. I don’t think I could ever feed home-prepared raw.


    1. Home-prepared raw got in through my weird loophole. I quit preparing meat for myself mostly because I don’t like to *cook* it. Too risky and subjective. I’m not wild about handling it, but, unlike a lot of people who don’t eat meat, that was never THE thing that bothered me. (My husband is a lifelong vegetarian and is more of the I-can’t-touch-that school.)

      I also get spared a lot of grossness by my really awesome local raw-dog-food place. Other than jointing the odd turkey part, Silas either eats things that spoon out of tubs (organs, ground meat) or whole pieces that I just plop in the bowl (pork chops, say).


  2. Wow – Silas has a cruel streak, doesn’t he? That’s kinda funny!

    Blueberry merely points the fly out to me. She then sits back and lets me flounder around chasing it. She is no help at all. Although she will go over and inspect my handiwork if the fly ends up on the floor. Guess she wants to make sure it is really dead.


  3. HA! That’s so funny. He probably appreciates having that “job” to do! Cooper loves fly-hunting, too, though he gives up if he’s not successful in the first few minutes.


    1. Silas is very tenacious. We’ve been known to get ready for bed in the dark, because we spot a moth or something in the bedroom. If Silas sees it, there is no sleeping until it is DEAD.

      I’m not sure how long he would chase the fly if I weren’t there with the swatter.


  4. Our Chamois actually catches flies in her mouth. I’ve tried to explain that it is an unhygienic practice, but I guess house dogs need to hone their skills.


  5. Haha – that’s awesome! And a great skill to have! In our house, the cats keep insects at bay – it’s a much appreciated service. The dogs are mostly oblivious, but Moses has been stung before, so he high-tails it out of there if he sees a bee or a wasp. (Big scary dog, he is.)


    1. If the flies didn’t come with a million mosquitoes, I would think about it. Neither of us is good at catching mosquitoes, though–just at being bitten by them.


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