Not A Cat
I’ve been thinking about this dog, Rinty. I had said he was fearless and that, he was. There was not another animal he was afraid of…with the exception of the first cow he ever saw..ah, yeah, he was a city dog. Anyway, nothing with fur were his allies. There was not a cat in the neighbor, that, if left out doors would be safe, and they weren’t safe. Rinty cleared out cats, like cats cleared out mice. As smart as he was, he had some regular difficulty in distinguishing between tabby cats and cats with long white stripes. Yes, he ridded our entire area of both cats and skunks. We learned to maintain a number of quarts of tomato juice to eliminate the smell from the encounters with the white-striped cats!
Fur and Feathers
Fur was not Rinty’s only target, feathers also seemed to be relished, maybe it wasn’t that it was fur or feathers but just because it moved. We stopped to visit some people one day and as we opened the car door the dog stepped out, his eyes immediately focused on this white domestic goose. The goose’s beady little eyes focused on the dog, it immediately turn right and headed away. The dog sensing victory, was gone like a lighten bolt. Fur or feather in sight, it made little difference, if Rinty was 6 feet from you charging away or 6 millimeters, his listening ears were OFF!! The goose started running, Rinty’s getting closer, the goose started flapping AND running, …..Rinty’s getting closer…..I’m expecting to see goose feathers explode in the air any nanosecond. The goose goes up over a little rise, flapping, the dog follows at full throttle. The goose flies off and dog……… disappears. Lesson #1, never chase an animal in unfamiliar territory, you wind up falling in a pond!! Goose 1, Rinty 0.
Know your enemy
The place that had the goose, was actually a small bay on a tiny inland Indiana man-made lake, where my father wanted to summer our cabin cruiser. We spent weekends on the cruiser, at the dock, and Rinty had his place, just off from the dock, tied by chain to this big tree. Rinty had water, food, shade and we were within 15 feet, he was content. But, there was this boxer, twice Rinty’s size, roaming free, that must have believed his territory was where ever he walked, and walked proudly he did….then he saw Rinty. He walked, slowly up to Rinty, Rinty walked out the length of the chain the boxer growled, barked, Rinty barked an lunged……..the chain held. The boxer stayed just out of reach and challenged Rinty. The Boxer finally left. The next day, however, the boxer returned…..if you could have read Rinty’s mind, he must have been thinking “this boxer is dumber than a box of rocks”. The boxer stood back and barked, then he inched forward and barked some more, ….. Rinty sat by the tree, …..the boxer barked and came yet closer, …..Rinty sat by the tree, ….. boxer got up to the tree, (dumb boxer), Rinty lunged, wrapped the chain around the boxer and bit the living daylights out of the boxer. The boxer never came back. Rinty 1, dumb dogs 0
Know your limitations
We were taking a boating vacation down the Illinois river, navigation charts and all. We began at the Joliet Yacht Club and traveled through the lock and dam system passed Peoria, all the way down to the Mississippi River and returned, in one week! We had stopped for evening layover at a state park south of Beardstown, Illinois. Rinty took out into the park, unescorted! After a while we began to worry, since he hadn’t returned. We began calling him. Soon he was coming on the run!! Not 50 feet behind were two BIG dogs chasing him…he ran down the dock and jumped into the boat. The two dogs seeing people, turned away. I knew that Rinty was smart, never fight when you’re out numbered. Rinty 2, dumb dogs 0