Sunday, October 25, 2009

Matched Sets

Put all four dogs together, and they look like some kind of advertisement for the breed, or for collars, or for good wholesome living. This entry is a second for that big walk at the beach. I took something like four hundred pictures, so one entry just wasn’t going to cut it.

It’s no mean feat to get a dog to sit and stay on a busy beach with birds, people, and other dogs all around. It’s even harder to get four in a row. It’s yet harder when one of the dogs isn’t even a year old yet. You’ll have to excuse a little pride on my part that they all held their stay for several pictures and only broke on command.

Jax and Finn were a matched set. As we found out later, both Tally and Comet were suffering from the early stages of tick-borne illnesses, so they weren’t quite as feisty as their normal selves.

Uncle and nephew, though, made it their business to check every stone, to chase one another through every promising shallow, and to race each other to every subsequent seagull.

Indeed, sometimes they chased birds far too far out in the waves and had a very long trip back together. Don’t be fooled by this photo; they’re out on a sandbar, and this is a cropped shot taken with a telephoto lens. Those dogs are far away.

The beginnings of Comet’s illness didn’t prevent him from enticing Jax into a game of chase. Comet’s special guilty pleasure is to convince another dog to chase him, and Jax’s innate willingness to be the chaser has meant that these two dogs are a particularly good fit for each other.

Of course, Jax does catch Comet from time to time, and he shows us that his ultimate goal is to deliver a big chomp to Comet’s butt. It may not be the most elegant game, but it sure looks like a hell of a lot of fun.

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