Monday I took my poodles down to Dana Point Harbor for a walk, the weather was heating up again so I thought a nice cool ocean breeze would be nice. The closer we got to the water the louder Luke got. He loves anything to do with water so he was pretty excited. Its been quite a while since we'd been to this particular spot so I'm sure he had forgotten about the squirrels. These are not your ordinary squirrels, these are whopper squirrels that sit boldly out on their rock and scream at the dogs.
Being that this area is an "on leash" park the squirrels don't worry a whole lot. They probably give my guys one look and think "ah poodles," but they have never met my poodles. Poodles are the originial water retriever, yes folks even before the good old lab there was poodles diving through the waters retrieving ducks for the master. Most poodles have drive, not all of course; I'm sure that there are poodles that just sit there as a tennis ball rolls by or watch calmly while sipping tea as the squirrels play in the yard, but that the picture of my poodles.
No, my poodles are hunters. They are not big killers, that's Jessie's job but they are definitely hunters. Once we got to the park and out of the "xterra, ya baby," the first shreak was heard and they were on their toes. Luke wears an easy walk harness which I'm sure helps but when he is in high chase mode, not alot. One of my arms is longer than the other today I'm sure. Luke's approach is simply to charge, no sneaking he goes on gut reaction alone.
Tilley on the other hand is stealth in her approach, her body lowered almost to the ground with her eyes darting back and forth. She knows she's not allowed to just charge after these guys but cannot control what her body tells her to do. Tilley often slips into the zone and doesn't respond to my voice but only momentarily and when her mind comes back to me she acts apologetic; as if she has completely forgotten herself.
The dogs love these walks and a walk of 20-30 min. get knock them out for the day. These walks are more based on the whole "mental" stimulation although their bodies react and are in a constant state of readiness. They don't even notice other dogs while they are at this park and we don't get alot of mileage in. We spend most of the time by the rocks watching. Even though they are on high alert they will if asked just sit and watch for alongtime. It is so cute watching them watch the squirrels. They look very much like spectators at a tennis match with their heads turning in unison. I enjoy watching them just as much as they enjoy the squirrel walk.