Now Skinny and human live in the country, and to be honest, human thinks Skinny might, in some circumstances, be partial to a bit of hunting himself, of the lamping variety, if only he had a human who was also similarly inclined. But human isn’t inclined, and is not really sure what to think about country pursuits like shooting little birds, just for the hell of it. (Ok, so maybe that last bit of the sentence shows that human isn’t a massive fan of the whole hunting and shooting lark.)
So, it was a bit off-putting when Saturday’s walk involved avoiding a field full of blokes in flat caps, with gun dogs and shotguns, shooting at grouse. Skinny and human could still hear the shots, of course. And then, as if that wasn’t enough, the hunt came by, all blokey rah rah rahing and horses clippety clopping and hunting horn blaring and muddy dogs barking.
Now that’s enough to make any dog skippety, yes?
Any dog, maybe. But not Skinny. Human’s been clicking and rewarding him for calm behaviour in the face of scary noisy things. And is Skinny’s case, rewarding means sausage. And sausage does nicely, thank you, for helping Skinny think differently about some of the things that tend to make him skippety. Like other dogs, and horses, and noisy blokes, and other dogs, and noisy noises, and other dogs. And thinking’s making Skinny feel a lot calmer, too. The other day he even kissed a sheep on the nose, without being the least bit skippety.
See Skinny, who needs hunting, when there’s thinking to do?