Thursday, April 17, 2008

Lord of the Flies

There is some debate as to whether dogs became domesticated because there were hungry wolves who approached our fore bearers ten millennia ago, or instead were some wolf pups taken from their mothers and raised to respect and aid humans. Regardless of the evolutionary path, dogs are our best friends. You could not ask for a more devoted companion, nor could you ask for a more noble beast to submit to human control. The human-canine relationship is like no other in nature. All a dog wants to do is please us and in return, share our meals and companionship. In order to make those meals, we bipeds need basic supplies, such as vegetables, fruit and animal protein. We need food.

Most of us get our food from a local grocery store. Others may go to Sam's Club or Costco when you forage for supplies to feed your family. Perhaps some of you reading this
blog might grow your own vegetables, when the season is right. Few, if any of us, hunt down our food. Living with a dog such as Samson has taught me that within his canine brain is an instinct he cannot control: to catch and devour prey. All of his senses are many orders of magnitude greater than mine. His sight is keener, his hearing better and his sense of smell is so much better than any human nose. These senses, combined with quick reflexes, teeth and a jaw powerful enough to crush through bones make a dog perfectly adapted to find its own food. Last weekend, Samson had his first kill. He trapped and mortally wounded a squirrel. He was drawn away from his kill, covered in blood. Not his blood, but rather the blood of the squirrel. If you could have seen his face it was one of triumph. He was telling the world with his expression that he had succeeded and was ready to share his good fortune with the rest of his pack.

Yesterday, his senses and
quick reflexes led him to kill again, but this time, the prey was much smaller. His prey was musca domestica, the common housefly. Samson was a rescue dog, so we do not know much about his past. I do not know how his first family treated him, nor do I know if he had ever seen a fly before. Regardless, a fly was inside the house and Samson was bound and determined to catch it. Samson quietly stalked his prey and when the fly made the mistake of getting caught up against out picture window overlooking our yard, Samson made his move. He snapped at the fly and captured him in his mouth. Samson then paraded around the living room, before plopping down by our map table, where he promptly spat out the fly. This fly was dazed and injured, and was unable to take flight. Samson toyed with this fly for a few seconds, barking at it and even pawing at it. In the end, when Samon's patience with his prey was at an end, the fly was gobbled up and consumed. Yep, with all that Iams kibble and soft food for him, Samson still prefers from time to time, to get a little fresh protein on his terms.

1 comment:

Lisa and Gary... said...

Not even dipped in chocolate, thank you very much!!

L.