I did not have a chance to get my second cup of coffee today when an unexpected visitor caused some disturbance. While washing dishes in the kitchen I heard the four puppies who were louder than usually. I can see their large yard from the kitchen window so I called them but nobody came to the gate. I knew that something was up.
John was pulling weeds in the garden nearby but he did not seem to pay attention to what was going on in the puppy pen. I had to go to investigate. There is a wooden platform in the puppy yard where they can lie in the sun, but all the pups were underneath the platform barking. Some pups were coming out but they would go under the platform right back. There was a lot of commotion and noise. I started to lift the heavy platform and called John at the same time. I peered under the platform and could see that pups had something there. As it turned out a young woodchuck must have gotten into the pups’ pen, got chased under the platform where he was cornered by the pups.
It was really surprising how ferocious these three month old pups were. I could not see as I was holding the platform but John swears that he saw Paika with her teeth in the woodchuck. Actually all the pups were very aggressive towards the chuck and towards one another once the chuck was removed. They were really fired up. Watch the video clip to see their excitement.
The puppies (there are four of them left now) were barking, barking, barking. Clearly it was more than a puppy disagreement. Then Jolanta began to yelp too. “There’s something under the wooden platform! The puppies are going after it. They are going to get hurt!”
We lifted up the platform in the big puppy pen, and there was a young woodchuck with the puppies swarming around him. Attached to the chest of the woodchuck was 14 week Paika, oblivious to the dangers that Jolanta was foreseeing. With so much good puppy help it was an easy matter to tail the chuck and lift him above the fray.
The chuck was somewhat the worse for his uninvited venture into the puppy pup, so we asked Tom vom Linteler Forst to finish things off. He had never seen a chuck before, but he knew what to do. These German dogs have a lot in their ancestral memory.
Not wanting to waste the dead chuck, we used him later as an a dragged alternative to liver drags and blood trails that we had been using to train and evaluate puppies.
Paika is following John after a successful completion of the woodchuck scent trail.