It’s the beginning of April. Supposedly, spring has sprung. Looks like it, eh?
Driecht Monday mornings are never a nice way to start the week, but today was particularly disheartening. Although, there was an interesting and heart-warming incident to slightly compensate.
I had Sam, the partially sighted little cairn terrier on his lead as we negotiated the steep bank down to where Ozzie had obviously caught the scent of something interesting. It was probably deer. He often homes in on their scent and flushes the otherwise invisible ungulates from their cover.
It doesn’t alarm me. I know he’ll never catch one.
But this morning, I noticed him mooching around a thick clump of gorse about twenty metres ahead. Suddenly, the brilliant white rump of a small (I reckon three to four year old) roe deer rose above the bush. Ozzie had found his ‘prey.’
The startled beast froze momentarily, as Ozzie bounced up and down excitedly. The deer tried to bounce away as normal, but it was quickly apparent something was wrong. By the time it would normally be thirty metres away, it had made only ten.
“Ozzie! Time for lead,” I called.
Ozzie looked at me and considered the instruction. Then to my dismay, he looked at the deer and slowly walked by it. He looked back at me, then the deer again, before trotting over to have his lead attached. He was very subdued and made no protest or attempt to get at the injured deer. He knew there was something wrong. He was concerned.
As the deer made its escape, it became obvious it had badly broken its front left foot. Within seconds though, it was out out of sight again.
It was an upsetting sight, and with nobody else in the park, no park ranger on duty, and the SSPCA over half hour drive away, there was no alternative but to hope for the best and let it fend for itself.
Ozzie? He was rewarded with several biscuits and once away from the immediate area was let off lead again.
Thus began his new quest to flush out a more challenging ‘prey.’