David Carsten Pedersen about raising his hunting dog "Mille"
She treats every human being as a potential friend and petting machine.
“Can we pet your…”. Yes of course you can. She likes it. And it makes her less afraid of the big city with all its noises. Actually I though she would be more stressed out about living in the concrete jungle. I know I am. I hunger for the forest and the open spaces. But Mille seems to be right at home in the big city. She’s not afraid of sirenes. She doesn’t stress about the cars. She treats every human being as a potential friend and petting machine. Because thats how she experiences life. And through her I get to experience people in the same way. Granted, I do receive a lot less petting from strangers than the puppy does, but you can’t really blame anyone for choosing the puppy over me.
Instead I get to enjoy the conversations. When you own a dog in the city, you quickly find out, just how many people actually miss having a dog. They all tell you about a dog they once had, the dog they left at home, or just their dream of having a dog one day. People seems to need to talk, almost as much as they need to pet puppies. So you share small stories. You enjoy each others company for a while and then you move on. And after a short walk, you end up little bit happier that the human race isn’t so bad after all. If you look at them through the eyes of a dog.
I had decided that this buck would be the first buck that the dog would try its teeth on.
“Come dog” the big machine was rumbling like a sleeping bear. The dog was 9 weeks old. And she would have none of it. “Come Mille. I’ll show you something great”, fighting her urge to be with me and her fear of the big four wheeled motorcycle, she looked at me with disbelief “I’m NOT going on the thing” she implied with all her being. But I would have none of that. It picked her up gently, and put her on my lap. With one hand on the dog and one hand on the throttle, I nudged the big machine into action and gently rolled of with the dog looking up at me as if I was crazy. But I knew she would change her mind. I had something to show her.
30 minutes earlier I was standing at a tree line, looking at a small pricket buck, eating away all the foliage, less than 30 meters away. “Should have brought the bow” was the first thought that went to my head, but I had only had little time before the sun was down. Picking up my rifle instead I had stalked through the low light of the forest, happy as a boy scout. I quickly spotted a large horny owl chick, sitting in a tree less than 10 meters from me. It had to be its first time out of the nest, and it looked perplexed at me while I stalked further on through the darkening forest. The buck had been waiting for me in a clearing less than 50 meters from there. It was a small animal. A yearling that wouldn’t amount to much, and the perfect animal to take out of the gene pool. I knew I had to many roes. And that taking out this so there would be less competition for food in that area of the forest. I knew it was the right decision to take him.
I dropped the animal with one clean shot, laying it to rest under the spruce that it had beed nibbling on. I had decided that this buck would be the first buck that the dog would try its teeth on. A small buck for a small dog. It seamed right. I dragged the animal a bit towards the road and then I stopped, going back to pick up my future track dog.
Driving the ATV down to the buck took no time at all. But the puppy didn’t like it. At all. The growling machine, the bumping of the track, the strangeness of it all. But she stayed in her spot on her lap the whole way, judging me with her big puppy eyes: “This better be good dude”. I stopped the ATV where I had dragged the deer across the road and liftet the dog of my lap. “Mille” I said while clapping my breast – a signal we had been rehearsing every time we had to train. “Mille – search!” She instantly started searching the area. Up until now we had only done the search command on dog snacks, but she clearly knew what the game was all about. Puffing like a tiny steam engine she picked up the track like a magnet on steel and followed it on a straight line, right up to the deer in the bush. And then she stopped. Sniffed at the buck. She waited for my command. “Take him” I said. And she went straight for the neck. I let her have a bit rough and tumble with the deer for a minute or so, just to give her a sense of achievement. And then I loaded the deer onto the ATV, my ecstatic puppy jumping around like a kid on Christmas day. It only took one word before she jumped onto my lap again, riding proud all the way back, with the air of a lioness on a fresh kill.