Saturday, June 2, 2012

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Quick Mark

By Fred
The frogs are out again, squawking and splashing in the fish ponds. I like to watch them when they get still and serious about catching some innocent flying creature that gets too close, like one of the small dragonflies that are on constant patrol. A frog's tongue darts out and back quickly and with precision while the rest of him is perfectly still, a skill that might be compared to that of a major league baseball player hitting a fast ball, except that all frogs can do it.

Jam, looking for a tree
Recently Jam has developed a desire to mark his territory. Male dogs, in particular, are naturally driven to make themselves known to other dogs, to pee up high so that the scent can travel. Of course, this is not desirable behavior for guide dogs, stopping every few feet to mark a tree, so we try to stop Jam whenever his biological imperative tempts him to raise his leg.

But knowing this, Jam has become proficient at the quick mark, which is not unlike a frog's tongue darting out for a dragonfly. Fast.

The only solution for this, as far as I can see, is to avoid lamp posts, fire hydrants and other vertical temptations altogether. So now all he sees are wide open spaces and clear sidewalks. He is adjusting...

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