Many of us as dog lovers think of our hounds as our babies, part of the family. Completely forgetting their dogs altogether, especially with the little ones. We get so caught up conforming & molding them to our needs & our societys’ standards of living we forget they’re animals with insticts altogether. Ofcourse intellectually we know they are animals, but its not the first thing you see in them. First you see Fido & its not an till Fido eats your Steve Maddens (shoes) or poo that you see dog. However we tend to ignore their animal side, their heritage. About a week ago I was given a not very fun but enlightening reminder of this. Although my Skyler is wonderful with kids & great with cats he has a duck weaknes. You’d think Patch my Lab Mix would be the one with this particular issue. Not so, her insticnts work diffrently, she’s the protector & the nose in the family. She’ll growl at someone three floors below us across the street, from inside the apartment as she watches thru the balcony window from the couch. Getting back to out protagonist, Early one morning I was dropping off the pups off at grandma’s on the way to work. I let the dogs out of the car to lead them to the front door. Suddenly Skyler took off after a flock of ducks I failed to notice near the car. It goes without saying I ran after him, passing 6 houses with Patch sprinting beside me determined not to be left out of the fun. My heart is thunping in my ears, my mind is racing with random thoughts. “I’m going to kill him!” “A car is going to hit him!” I’m going to be late for work!” “That poor duck!” “I’m going to kill him!” He turned into someones backyard, I followed but just missed him. By the time I’d reached the backyard he’d gone around the front of the yard, I was about to follow as he made his way back chasing a duck. At that instant everything slowed. Letting Patch & I see Skyler as an animal. His gaze was focused, excited & joyous with his hunt. I tried to catch him from the side, he just turned his agile body away from me at the last second while steadly running towards his goal. It’s odd how a bad moment can happen so fast yet so slowly. All I could do was stare as his instict took over the chase & caught the bird shaking it slightly as it struggled. At that instant you think he’s gone completly wild. Then the duck settled and he gently with great control pinned his neck on the ground. You realize he isn’t going to maul it, so long as the duck stayed still he was satisfied with gently pinning it down, like he would one of his doggy friends. I took that moment to get him from the scruff & tell him to drop it, he did. The bird wadled away a little shaken up but otherwise unscathed. He just needed a good chase. So I leashed him up & we all walked back to grandma’s side by side. While doing so I noticed the trot in his step. Completly proud of himself. A satisfied Husky grin on his face with his tongue dangling out the side. His insticts fullfilled for the moment he was happy. This in NO way means I condone his behavior, It just helps me explain my previous statement from the beginging of this post. My dog is not just my baby, there to satisfy my needs as a pet owner. He’s also a animal & has his own needs as such. Perhaps I’ll take him to a hunting course or a lure course to help him satisfy his inner animal. Understanding your dog & compromising to a point makes for a happy hound.