Soapweed's Ranch Ramblings
The writings of a Nebraska Sandhills cattle rancher!

Dog Catches Rabbit
April 25, 2003

We have a dog that is a German Shepherd-Rottweiler cross. She is almost a year old now, and actually belongs to our sixteen-year-old daughter. This dog is big and friendly, goes by the name of "Scarlet O'hara" and her best quality (as far as I am concerned) is that she has no grand illusions that she is a "cow-dog." This morning Scarlet caught a rabbit, and she was pretty proud.

This reminds me of a female gold-colored mutt that we had during the 1970's. She was a good sort of friendly character, and also was discouraged from doing any sort of cattle work. But alas, she did like to go along when we worked cattle horseback. She always stayed at least one hill back, out of "pedigree-reading range." Every spring we had a thirty mile two-day cattle drive to summer pasture. Old "Rebel" always followed along on the first day, and we would take her home in the pickup that evening. The next day, we would haul fresh horses but would just leave the dog home.

Rebel chased rabbits all her life, but could never catch one. On one of these cattle drives, she lucked out and caught a young rabbit. She caught it just before we crossed a major highway with our herd of cattle. She proudly carried the rabbit in her teeth so that people in vehicles waiting for the livestock to cross could see her abilities. She carried the long-eared prize for another quarter of a mile before becoming tired of the extra load. Eventually she dug a hole and buried her treasure. At the end of the day, we loaded some of the horses and the dog and returned home for the night. The next day we loaded fresh horses to continue the cattle drive, but left the dog home.

The following May, the cattle drive scene was re-enacted. Rebel came along as usual. When we reached the spot where her year-old treasure was buried, amazingly she sniffed around and dug up the rabbit. We were all duly impressed.






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