I looked out the window one morning last week and saw Darla “trapping”‘three-legged Tanner?by the fir tree. Keeping the young, energetic whipper-snapper away from the house is a game that started?earlier this year. As soon as the snow arrived this fall, Darla was back at it. At the moment it’s a one-on-one, since Travis is in the back yard again with his friends blind Jake and blind Allie. It’s not as challenging for Darla?with only one guy to keep track of, though Tanner finds it more challenging because he doesn’t have Travis to serve as a diversion.
I saw the set-up by the tree, grabbed’the camera, and headed out the front door. As soon as Tanner saw me, he bolted for the house, with Darla in hot pursuit. Yes, this is the same dog who wouldn’t put her foot down after her knee surgery, but as you can see in these photos, she’s finally using that leg again to good effect! Darla’s strength is her bluffing — all she has to do is assume a certain body posture and fix an icy stare on Tanner, and he stays put. Tanner’s strength is incredible speed — when he began his race to the house, he was actually further back than Darla, but you can see how fast he overtook her:
My camera says there was all of one second between those two photos!
Tanner came right up to me but trapped himself in the V between the two ramps, with no way out and Darla on his heels. This is what I saw through the camera when she arrived:
I think that’s?a look that clearly says, “Well, are you going to save me or not?!?”
I said, “Nope, buddy, you’re on your own with the old lady.”
Look at the body language in this next shot … he knows what’s coming next:
Yep,’she bumps him on the side with her snout and then pulls back:
Which is Tanner’s’signal to get his butt in gear and zoom?off, with Darla in momentary pursuit as blind Stella comes over to find out what’s going on:
I say “momentary” because just a couple of seconds later, satisfied?with herself for having successfully chased the kid?away from “her” house once more, she turned back so I could open the gate and let her in. Tanner, seeing the gate open and me there to “protect” him, came racing in, with blind Stella bringing up the rear. All three happily trotted?into the house together, ready for a morning nap.
Barb Ribinski says
Poor Tanner. I wonder why Darla picks on him so. Maybe because she knows he can see so he’s someone she can play with. And Darla seems to be totally recovered from her surgery. Looks like she can sure get around again – leaping and jumping. And it’s funny how Stella knows that something is going on even though she can’t see them. At least they all get some exercise this way.
They have the best times together! And such a pecking order!! Tanner’s sweet face in the one close up is so precious.
Miranda Brooks says
You’re not the boss of me! Yes I am too the boss and what I say goes! I am the Door Dog and you can’t go in!
Roz S says
In a ‘nutshell’ Miranda !
Roz S says
Funny -I seem to be hearing the ‘cartoon’ voices you’ve given the dogs ! Cracks me up !
Shirley and James says
Too funny!! Love the picture “save me!” LOVE sweet Travis.
Tonya Allen says
Poor Tanner! But definitely good physical therapy for Darla. And great action shots by the photographer!
Rebecca M. says
As cute as it is to read about, I’m glad her territoriality doesn’t seem to be too serious. I guess she just likes to show the boys who’s boss.. Tanner’s a sweetheart for putting up with her games.
Roz S says
Love Darla’s stop action flapping ears in the last shot. Always such excellent observations, writing & photography, Steve. Very inspiring & lifts me up. Couldn’t get better than that,no
Linda P. says
I always feel sorry for the one receiving this kind of treatment by the alpha dog among the pair, but I have learned not to interfere. They have to sort out the pecking order for themselves–although “pecking order” is probably not the best phrase when describing canine behavior.
Running on all fours ~ good for Darla!
This is a terribly cute story even if young Tanner get
chased around by protective Darla.
Seems like at the end of the day all is forgiven and the dogs are happy.
These guys totally put a smile on my face. I find myself anxious for more Stella posts though, I just love her beautiful gray face and happy demeanor.