Chasing and Catching - Hungarian Vizsla Forums
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 12-02-2017, 10:44 PM Thread Starter
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Chasing and Catching

It was bound to happen eventually, but tonight Scout caught her first rabbit. I let her and my parents' dog outside and had just barely shut the door when I saw Scout chasing something in the back corner of the yard. I assumed it was one of our cats or maybe a squirrel once I heard it squeak. I grabbed a flashlight and ran out there to find the rabbit lying quite stiffly and breathing shallowly. There were a couple small puncture wounds where Scout must have nipped it during the chase, but nothing that looked serious. I figured it was in shock and went inside with the dogs.

When I checked back a few minutes later it was still there, so I decided to put it in a crate and bring it inside while I looked up emergency vets and wildlife rehabilitators. We've only been here a month so I'm not familiar with the area. It passed away shortly after and I just stood there watching it for a while. It looked so much like one of our cats, a small Japanese bobtail/manx type. Since then I've been thinking, as I do, about things like life and death and the irony of being an animal lover with a hunting dog. I was happy for Scout that she got to catch it and more broadly that she has the instinct and ability to do so, that her purpose is so clear, and that it's still preserved in the breed as a whole. Its naturalness is beautiful. But since owning her and exploring hunting for her sake I have encountered and been responsible for more death than at any other point in my life. Or more accurately since I've always been a meat eater, I'm more aware of that responsibility now and have participated more directly, but it's always been there. I think people shouldn't be so disconnected from their food so as to never feel remorse or to reflect on the lives given to sustain them and if I own a hunting dog that I train to bring out that instinct then I get to accept the responsibility and the complicated feelings that come with her success.

She of course is completely unburdened by these silly feelings and is snoozing away next to me, probably dreaming of chasing rabbits.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 12-03-2017, 10:35 AM
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It's not uncommon for owners of hunting dogs, to have a love of animals, even the wild ones. Being out with our dogs, brings us closer to other wildlife.
We see hawks soar overhead, deer with their fawns, and even little finches with tiny straw to make a nest.
We become very selective in the game we take. Last week I saw a coyote come out of the woods, 20 yards in from of the dogs. Yesterday it was a bobcat, making it's way across the foggy field. While these are both known predators. My first thought is not to kill them. As long as they do not cause a problem. I would rather they be left, and possibly cross my path again one day. There is a beauty in seeing something truly wild, that I would not want to lose.
While I've been a hunter most of my life. I have also hand fed baby dove, and other baby birds. Raised baby squirrels, and racoon. These were because something had happened to the mother, or the nest had blown to the ground.
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Not all those who wander are lost.

Life is just a leap of faith.
Spread your arms and hold your breath and always trust your cape.

Two things define you. Your patience when you have nothing, and your attitude when you have everything.
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