Evenings With Elmer Fudd

The nighttime walk is one of the most underrated parts about having a dog.  When the world is quiet and dark, it’s incredibly relaxing to go for a stroll with your pup.  Thinking isn’t my strong suit, but I come up with some of my best ideas while out on a calm evening with Eko. Well, I used to at least.  Then the rabbits showed up.

To be fair, the rabbits were here first.  I’m sure I would have noticed them eventually, but Eko saw them on our very first evening walk in Chicago.  We turned a corner and Eko immediately tensed up.  “Let’s go!” I said, but Eko turned to me and gave me the universal look for, “Be vewy vewy quiet, I’m hunting wabbits.”

 

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 “Shhh! I’m wooking for a wittle gwey wabbit.”

It didn’t take long for word to spread in the rabbit community that there was a new sheriff in town.  We used to see rabbits every night, but now it’s a spin of the roulette wheel – sometimes we have a quiet walk, sometimes we break up what appears to be a rabbit family reunion.  I try to keep my head on a swivel, but there is still the occasional walk when the strength of my shoulder socket is tested when Eko makes a break for it and tries to crash the rabbit party.

 

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“I twied and I twied, but I just simpwy can’t seem to catch that old wabbit! “

I could think about the rabbits as a problem (mainly a problem for the health of my shoulder) but instead I like to think of them as the ultimate training tool.  Now when Eko and I head out for our evening walk, I bring along treats to train him to walk with me past the rabbits.  As Elmer Fudd would say, “Pwetty cwafty, eh?”

So some of our quiet walks aren’t so quiet, but I can’t say I mind squeezing in a little extra adventure before bedtime.  If the day ever comes where I have trained Eko to completely ignore the rabbits…actually, no need to worry about that because it will never happen!

12 thoughts on “Evenings With Elmer Fudd

  1. That’s so completely like our neighborhood. I lived in the country for 25 years and never saw as many Rabbits as I have since we moved downtown. They hang in the park in our complex. I imagine Eko to be like ‘Dug’ in Pixar’s ‘UP’, but instead of turning his head quickly and saying ‘SQUIRREL!!’, it’s ‘WABBIT’!!

  2. Will:
    Youve met your second cousin, Sandy the mostly Labrador. When there is a squirrel sitting atop the eight foot tall fence in the back yard, Sandy accelerates out the back door, gets big air as she hits the rise about 10 feet from the fence and has almost had squirrel tartare on multiple occasions. No amount of treats are going to get her out of hunting mode when there is a squirrel, chipmunk or bird in HER yard.

  3. Hi Will! Love that you’re in Chicago because I am too. Mr. Eko is a doll. I’ll be looking for you guys around the neighborhood. In the non-creepiest way possible. :)

    • Haha for sure! We’re usually hanging around Lincoln Park, Wiggly Field or Montrose Beach. Eko is tough to miss, hope to see you around!

    • I had been trying to snap a photo for a few nights, but understandably had some difficulty! I got lucky here because sometimes the rabbits will freeze and hope that Eko doesn’t see them. Their plan hasn’t worked yet, but luckily it gave me time to catch Eko on the prowl.

    • Victoria, most treats weren’t tempting enough to work, but I found that if I use pieces of beef jerky that it will catch Eko’s attention. He still has a crisis about whether to follow his favorite treat (as I walk away from the rabbit) or chase the rabbit, but we have definitely made some (VERY) slow progress.

      • I just have to figure out how to get his attention in the split second that he sees the deer to show him the jerky – he is usually just so fast to respond (much faster than me) to the deer sighting.

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