Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Can I still call myself a golden retriever?

This morning I had an interesting experience that I would like your words of wisdom about. After breakfast I went out my front door, where I noticed our driveway gates were left open after dad had left for work. This isn’t usually a problem for me, as I’ve learnt to stay inside my boundaries. In fact I have three zones – inside the house (a.k.a my kennel), the whole back garden (fenced off from the front garden) and the front garden (also fenced with a gate to the road). I spend my days wandering between the first two at my leisure, and often follow mum or dad out to the front garden when they are out there.

Anyway this morning when mum opened the front door for me, the gate was open and on my driveway I saw one duck and three large ducklings that had wandered in and were quacking in front of me, tormenting me, waddling around and quacking, quacking, quacking…

What was a boy like me to do? I gave chase. I ran as fast as my legs would carry me. The ducks went everywhere with lots more quacking and wings flapping (even though the young ones couldn’t fly yet). I then heard the loudest “Riley down” command from my mum that I've ever heard. So loud the next door neighbour rushed out of her house to check if I’d finally cornered my nemesis (her white cat that comes through the fences just to tease me and sleep in my garden).

While I was “down” all I could do was watch the ducks as they waddled past me (less than a metre away) up the drive while mum herded them out and closed the gates. When I was finally allowed to get up and go to the gate the biggest duck turned around and walked back towards me to quack at me from the other side of the gate. I’m sure she laughed at me, but then she walked back to her ducklings.

All that was left for me to do was to sniff where they had been, nose to the ground, going round and round and back and forth for ages, but  I think I’ve missed my chance.
You see ever since I have been a puppy I’ve been given duck toys. My breed is breed to retrieve these things, it is in our nature and I figure mum could have helped this morning and shot one for me to make getting my first real duck easier – but she claims she likes ducks and doesn’t own a gun or have a duck licence even though she has a gundog and gave me duck toys. Talk about mixed messsages.

So what do you think - should I have done something different, should I have pretended not to hear her commands, should I have run quicker, crossed the boundary and chased them down the road claiming retrieving was what I’m breed to do (to experience the look on mum’s face when I brought one back), or am I better to lie at mum’s feet while she types this for me and dream of what might have been?


PS Mum was too busy herding ducks and giving me commands to get her camera, so the duck photos of what they looked like are off the web, but the photos of me with my toy duck were taken this morning.


Khyra And Sometimes Her Mom said...

Hey, we have to be what we are!

Woo are so khorrekht about the khonflikhting signals they sent woo!

Too bad fur us she'd did snag the khamera so we khould see all the FUN!


Sheila and Bob said...

You did the right thing listening to your Mom.
I know we are suppose to be retrievers but us Goldens are just such love bugs that many people have them and they never retrieve anything but a tennis ball.
You did good.

Hamish & Rescue Sophie

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

Hello Riley!! We've been around lots of Goldens just like you and know all about how Goldens and ducks go together--It can be a bit complicated, so I'll just tell you that there are "special times" when you've been specially trained to go after ducks and it's kind of like a game. And then there are times like today that when it's not a game and you just have to watch them...Does this make sense? I am really proud that you listened to your Mom in a moment when you didn't want too! I know how hard that can be!!

PS: Your Mom asked about how to keep your beautiful hair from getting all over everything and everyone--Tell her I don't really have any good ideas on that--She's already doing all that I would do, and more! Sorry I'm no help on this...

sprinkles said...

Ah, Riley! I'm so proud of you for listening to your mom when I know that you'd really rather have continued chasing after those duckies! You did the right thing.

Please thank your mom for all the advice she's given me.

houndstooth said...

That's a tough call! I think you always have to listen to your mom. That's the most important, even though those ducks were begging to be duck stew! Next time, you've got to get out the door faster and catch them before your mom yells "down"! At least, that's what I'd do.


TOBY PUPPY in SA said...

My, my, Riley! You are one obedient doggy!!! I am so, so impressed! My Aunt Tam' would have given chase, for sure! You are truly my hero! Maxmom say that I am to use you as my role model!
I love you, Riley!!! I really do!!!
Lotsalicks and hero-worship!

Maggie and Mitch said...

You did exactly the right thing, Riley! You are the best boy!

Love ya lots
Maggie and Mitch

Oskar said...

You're a very smart doggie to listen. I bet it was super-tempting!

Nubbin wiggles,

Honey the Great Dane said...

Oh Riley - you sound like the BEST boy!! Hsin-Yi says this is what all our training - all those hours at All Breeds - is for and it's fantastic for our humans when they need us to respond quickly in real life and we do! When all that training is worth it! I think you were a great doggie for listening to your human so well.

However, if you didn't get the duck, did you at least find some duck poo? poo is the best thing to roll in...ah...eau de duck poo...(sigh)

Honey the Great Dane

meowmeowmans said...

We think you did the right thing, sweet Riley!