Rat run

Archie has a new hobby. Did I say hobby? I meant a new obsession to add to his list under all the others.

Despite the fact that the weather is now quite cold, and frequently very, very, wet he will not be deterred.

My understanding was that dogs had eyesight that was OK, but really it was the sense of smell that assisted them with navigating the world, but Archie has a secret weapon up his sleeve:patience. He will sit for hours, with his nose pressed up against the window to the garden, not to sniff, but because it is the only thing that prevents him getting any closer to the glass pane as he scans the yard.

I have to say, that as a guard dog, this is quite a useful trait. He is never happier than when sitting outside, up on a chair playing sentry by the fence. What damage he could actually inflict on any intruder, if any, is not the point. The point is he is committed to flinging himself in the way of it. He will remain primed and alert, watchful and suspicious and every ready to throw himself at what ever being has crossed over into his territory.

For a while, I thought he was still fixated on Mr P, the frog. When the heavens open and the rain comes down he prowls about waiting for a re appearance of his arch nemesis. He does this day or night, because Archie does not know that frogs are nocturnal and because he has clearly forgotten the unpleasant experience that the frog delivered to his mouth by way of defence the last time he tried to pick it up.

I finally spotted what he was watching out for one morning as he stood by the door, tail lashing wildly as every fibre in his being strained to get outside. It was a mouse, a tiny mouse running like bilio along the fence line in a bid to get to a hole that led under the fence at the end and into our neighbour’s garden. I let him out and he hurtled towards his prey, which was long gone, as mice can move at quite a clip when they have a mind to.

My main concern, though was not Archie and that mouse. It was where the mouse had come from, because the fence which is along the other neighbour’s side has no hole under it, which just leaves another obvious gap: the door that leads from the garden to the garage.

I have no doubt that Archie will remain unsuccessful in his mission to rid the world of mice, especially given that he is mainly on the other side of a large glass door most of the time, but he never seems to tire of watching mouse TV, or more accurately, Fence TV, in his endless quest to catch something.

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