Dogs like to work for a living - unlike goats - or at least most goats with any sense. This is one reason I believe that goats are superior to dogs. (No offense intended to any of my beloved dog readers. It is just one of those facts of life like 'the early goat catches the Peanut', or 'behind every good goatmother stands a great goat'.) Anyway, you might recall that I have commented from time to time on the training progress of the Mighty Quinn. It is to that end that I speak to you now.
To re-cap, the Mighty Quinn, while showing excellent potential early on, has never quite mastered the art of herding goats (to my relief) thanks to...er...due to an unfortunate meeting with my nephew, Peanut, and the electric fence. Nonetheless, he has persevered in his work ethic by achieving highest marks in the Dervish Herding School method. Still, herding has all but eluded him, except in pursuit of a rather unique prey. In this, we have discovered, lies the Mighty Quinn's true talent. For you see, the Mighty Quinn has begun to excel in the area of Search and Rescue. You know, these are the dogs able to locate 'victims' lost in the wilderness or buried under tons of disaster-related debris?
Of course the Mighty Quinn has not had any actual disasters with which to train. (Unless, of course, you count the time Boo tried to go under the gate between the two sides of the barn, knocking it off its hinges in the process, and nearly taking me out.) Despite this lack, a certain natural talent has come to light. For example, one day the neighbors' Brussels Griffon, Oscar, went missing. Everyone ran hither and yon frantically calling his name in an effort to locate him. The Mighty Quinn realized the gravity of what was happening and wandered off into the woods. Moments later he returned with Oscar trailing behind. Another day, Cabra became frightened of the John Deere pulling an empty garden trailer. As it came careening down the road driven by the goatfather, (I say 'careening', mind you, because you have never witnessed the acceleration and wild abandon exhibited by a man who has just realized the load is light and the way is absolutely clear. Trust me, it pays to get the hay out of the way.) Cabra became cognizant that her life was in danger and promptly disappeared. The goatmother called and called. The Mighty Quinn, taking one look at the desperation that was the goatmother's face, trotted off toward the house, expiditiously returning with Cabra in tow. What a guy.
So, as you can see, Search and Rescue seems to be the Mighty Quinn's natural forté. Allow me to jar your memory a bit by returning to the previously pursued DHS 'prey' which can be reviewed here. It is now Autumn. The leaves have fallen and cover the ground in thick blankets. Locating the 'prey' has become quite a challenge, particularly since there is such a large target area. Nonetheless, it has been discovered that all one need do is stand back, scoop in hand, and say, 'Find the Poop'. No kidding. 'Find the Poop'. Gauche, I know, but there you have it. You say the magic words, stand back, and the Mighty Quinn goes to work. His success rate is phenomenal. Fortunately, Cabra provides us with enough training material to cover the need. And what's in it for him, you might ask? What reward could possibly exist for such an undertaking? Why nothing more than the chance to perform the Dervish dance that accompanies each sacrificial conveyance. Not even a morsel of food or kernel of Peanut is required. (This, by the way, naturally supports my original supposition concerning the superiority of goats. A goat would merely look at you and say, 'Find the What?! I don't think so.)
Anyway, who knew such a latent talent lay undiscovered in the Mighty Quinn for so long? Granted some of you might not see the merit, but I can assure you that this is only a stepping stone to higher ground. The next step is to learn to 'sit' as a signal that the target has been located. From there, it is a mere hop, bound and a butt to finding other objects and maybe even people...or lost goats...or lost Peanuts! YES!!! So, my friends, do not mock what you do not understand. A noted Native American, Iron Eagle, once said, "God doesn't give people talents that he doesn't want people to use." I'm reasonably sure that applies to dogs too - maybe even to goats.