Friday, September 1, 2017

You Scratch my Back

Our last family pet, Repo, an English Springer Spaniel, had this annoying habit of picking up the gray landscape rocks around our house and carrying them out into the middle of the yard and dropping them. Of course, this made mowing the yard hazardous because those rocks became missiles when the mower ran over one of them.

We had rocks go through two different windows and the homeowners insurance carrier even threatened to drop us because of that (don't even get me started on that!).

I had never really watched Repo long enough to understand why he would do such a stupid thing. I attributed it to his constant need for something in his mouth.

One day, after returning from a productive day afield, we were cleaning pheasants out in the yard and one of my fellow hunters was watching Repo take a rock from near the house out to the middle of the yard. He asked me about that habit and I dropped a few choice words indicating my disapproval of the habit and went back to the ringneck at hand.

Shortly thereafter, he was marveling at what a smart dog Repo was. I suggested that he might have gotten into the barley pop a bit early. He pointed out that Repo was rolling on the rock he had deposited in the yard, scratching his back blissfully.

As I watched, it was true. I walked over, grabbed the rock and deposited it next to the house in its intended spot.

A few minutes later, Repo had snatched another rock and was laying on his back, squirming away, driving the rock between the shoulders blades, where apparently, the itch was just too much to handle.

Learning the reason behind the annoying habit didn't make me like it any better - but at least I understood!

"This one should REALLY do the trick!"

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