Taking Massey for a hike follows nearly the same pattern every time. We hop in the car and she knows every turn to get to the trailhead. She excitedly whines just a little as we approach each intersection enroute; a little reminder just in case I forgot how to get there. We get out and she dashes about 20 steps up the trail...and promptly drops a lovely present in the trail. Fortunately this happens every time, so we know to be prepared with a poop bag. Then it's full on hunting time. First, she walks slowly, ears perked, surveying, stalking.
Suddenly she erupts. The chase is on. The early chases are usually a bunny or a big bird (see the hawk?!) that she really has no chance of catching. The bunnies dive into a thicket or the hawks just float on the thermal winds high above the ground, well out of reach.
After a few all-out quarter-mile sprints (while I hold my breath and hope she doesn't lodge a foxtail in her ear), she chills a bit and waits. She knows she'll find some quail or some smaller birds to chase if she's patient.
This week it was the meadowlarks. They constantly sang as we walked. Their distinctively familiar song reminded me of being back home in Iowa. As the sun heated the golden hillsides, the wind began to stir the grasses and the little birds took flight, swirling and swooping over the tall grass. Our little dog took chase. If you look closely at the photo below, you can see a meadowlark just above the hill in the background.
She was one happy and tired dog by the end of the hike.