My Mentor & Role-Model

I haven’t dedicated a full post to my friend and mother-figure, Laffie yet, so here we are. She was there when I walked through the door as a puppy, and I’ve grown up with her being my mentor and role-model. Laffie is a French Brittany Spaniel, and she is now 10 years old. The below picture does a great job of representing who she is. She’s even more of a pro in the woods than I am. Since after all, she lives there permanently and has been doing it for 10 years now. She taught me everything I know.

(Check out the beaver house in the back).

French Brittany

Very much the same way that I live and breathe to play, Laffie lives and breathes to hunt – even though her owners don’t. It’s hard-wired in her brain that the only thing she wants to do is chase critters. Unlike me, she’s got a few trophies from her hunting expeditions. It’s her nature to bring whatever she catches to her owners – which as you can imagine can be unpleasant for them sometimes. In fact, she’s even fed her family before! She caught a nice partridge one day and instead of just wasting the poor bird, they all ate it!

She’s quite good at what she does. When she sees or smells something, she will crouch down low and move very slowly towards it, like a lion. I on the other hand cannot always control my excitement and will start doing my high-pitched squeals – which obviously just gives away my position. You can imagine how she gets annoyed when I do this with her.

We make a good team though. Everytime we come back to from our mid-day expedition, we have a routine we go through. By the side of the house there are a few bird feeders, and there’s always a squirrels or two around. When we get back from the walk I’ll follow her lead as we come into sight of the feeders. She’ll stop and I’ll stop. She goes to the right to sneak along the side of the house. I go to the left, and when the timing is right I spring into action, driving the squirrels right toward the waiting lioness!

And when we’re on walks we work as a team, too. In this picture she is covering the front, and I am covering the back. She told me to use paw signals to keep our cover.

Dog Teamwork Hunting

Our relationship goes beyond hunting and exploring though. I like to hang out with her. She is very calm, and not ‘in your face’ like some other dogs I know (Oakley). We do a lot of things together, like just chilling out on a boat in Florida.

Dogs on a Boat

We had some great adventures in Florida. Her hunting instincts even kick in when we’re on the boat. We saw some dolphins jumping by our boat once and Laffie went crazy! She was about ready to jump over the side to go get them. I warned her not to do this – because I didn’t want to have to go in to save her after.

In the below photo you can see there is a Manatee under the water. Laffie could sense there was something there. I couldn’t see it though..

Dogs See a Manatee from Boat

Laffie is also one of the only dogs I will play with. We have some pretty intense wrestling matches. Sometimes they get so rough that Mum and Dad have to break us up. But I like going rough on her. My signature tactic is to sneak up behind her and then chomp on her hind leg! That, or tug on her ears.

But she isn’t the only one who has something to teach. I’ve been showing her how to be a celebrity. Specifically, I show her how to keep your body ‘open’ towards the camera, to always show your best side, to make sure you have proper hygiene, and most importantly – to always flex your muscles when the camera is pointing at you. She humours me with my advice, but I can tell she’s not really interested in the celebrity life. She’s a country girl and likes the quiet lifestyle in the woods. So I don’t blame her.

I guess my real celebrity protege is Oakley. We’ll see where I can take him. I’m sure his goofiness will steer him in a slightly different direction than where my drop-dead sexiness has taken me.

Anyway, does your doggy have a mentor or role-model in his/her life? An older sibling perhaps, or a friend of another breed?

Keep learnin’,

~ Crusoe

Keep ballin’,