The Rose and the Birds

Chapter 1

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  Rose managed to keep a garden all this time in the summer and she would at first carry the cage out to the garden with her and let the birds out for a short time to run around in the garden catching bugs. We had a small dog named “Pepper” at the time and we were afraid she might decide to sample one of the birds so we had to watch Pepper very closely when Rose had the birds out. 

Pepper was an intelligent dog so we decided to try to teach Pepper not to chase the birds. No small task as we knew it is in the nature of a dog to try to catch a bird.

Rose often would get Pepper to lay down while she would dust her with “7 Dust” for ticks and fleas. So she got Pepper to lay down in the grass and we brought one of the quail up to her.

  The bird didn’t seem to pay any attention to Pepper and we petted Pepper so we could grab her quickly if she tried to get up and attack the bird. The bird quickly took interest in bugs and was busy catching bugs when we got Pepper up on her feet. We kept our hands close to Pepper just in case, and had a rolled up newspaper too. Pepper stretched  her neck out to sniff the bird and Rose popped her on the snout once lightly and Pepper backed away and just ambled away.

We felt that we made a small step in the right direction but we knew to still be careful.

A week or so later, while Pepper was laying in the grass and sunning herself we decided to try again with the introduction of the quail to Pepper. This time Rose brought the cage of all five birds and set it near Pepper. To our pleasant surprise none of the quail seemed concerned and Pepper only raised her head to look and then laid her head back down.

  I kept the rolled up paper out of sight and Rose opened the cage. The quail were so use to this procedure now that they hopped right out and went looking for bugs in the grass all around Pepper.

  Looking back now, I guess it would have been wise to put a leash on Pepper as the thought of five quail running in all directions if Pepper chose to attack could have been hectic to say the least. It was a relief to see Pepper just lay there sunning while the five quail were busy catching bugs in the grass. We sat down in the grass near Pepper and just watched as occasionally one of the birds would walk near Pepper and all she would do is roll her eyes and follow the movement of the bird.

There was a tense moment when one of the birds walked up and over Pepper and all Pepper did was casually raised her head to look at the quail as she walked over her. After that, we were less attentive of Pepper when we had the birds out in the garden.  

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