Thursday 20 June, 2013 by Uncle Spike
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier, know this breed of dog? Well, depending on your like/dislike of dogs, I guess you’ll know them as either solid muscular built dogs favoured by thugs… or, intelligent dogs with a lovable temperament.
For a few years, I was the proud owner, and daddy, of a Staffie called Taz. Now this creature invaded our home back in 1998, and soon became head of the family, well within about 3 hours actually. Anyway, suffice it to say, he was a gem, a great companion and constant source of our laughter, tears, outrage, and affection.
Taz had many hobbies, one of which was to entertain us humans to the best of his ability; I think he saw that as his primary vocation in life. Now, around once a week, Taz would take on the challenge of exercising mom and dad through a simple game of Hide & Seek. I once questioned Taz about this, and he basically woofed away to tell me that the idea was simply to wait around while the human went to ‘hide’, and then he would go and find them, as in ‘seek’. Of course, to maximise the entertainment value, and increase the likelihood of a yummy reward, he would pretend to not be able to locate his victim, searching in all their favourite known hidyholes until, low and behold, the discovery was made, and that particular game was deemed to be over. This was often repeated 5-10 times in a session.
Taz was quite the expert, pretending to be so fascinated by this venture, so as to bring smiles to the faces of any onlookers. He knew the game, and would search the cottage routinely, through his vast experience of said ‘game’, to include the following:-
- inside the big cane washing basket, taking care not to breath whilst checking this one out;
- behind the curtains in 5 different rooms;
- on the deep window ledges (it was an old cottage with 45cm/18″ walls)
- in the electrical cupboard under the stairs;
- under the duvet;
- lying in the bath;
- inside a wardrobe;
- or, behind the sofa.
Now, on one particular day, the surprise hiding place selected by the ever-cunning lady of the house, was the last one on this list, behind the sofa. Whilst probably just for effect, Taz dutifully searched the entire cottage, checking all the known hotspots… when finally he decided to end the game, he came charging down the stairs, and ran straight round the back of the sofa.
Whilst a lovable, cuddly young chap, Taz also happened to be as fast as a rabbit, absolutely solid and around 21kg (46lb). However, on this occasion, his target was, shall we say, looking the wrong way. More akin to a well-targeted Scud Missile than a puppy playing an indoor game, Taz literally ran straight into his prey, SMACK.
The end result? Taz got his reward, and went back to his bed, happy; job done. His lady owner, however, became the proud bearer of a neck collar, having sustained whiplash injuries.
Morale of this story? Dunno… answers on a postcard; perhaps it’s just that throwing a ball for your doggy in the park makes one slightly less prone to injury.