We always called O'Malley "The Investigator" because he had a never-ending inquisitiveness about him. I accept the criticism that we attributed anthropomorphic powers to the old boy, because I know it to be true. Fergus, on the other hand, operates off of canine instinct---maybe bloodhound genes. On our daily excursions, he rarely if ever 'walks'; he leaps, excavates, twirls, pounces---he's a one-dog circus. He's usually got some found object of interest hanging out of his mouth at all times.
A few days ago, headed up Millcreek Canyon, Fergus skulked past me with a wad of white protruding from his jaw. I assumed he unearthed somebody's McDonald's debris and he was making sure I got no part of what little was left. But then I noticed he kept chewing and chewing. It was a real cat-and-mouse game as I tried to approch him to get a better look---he was way too stealthy for me. Then, a piece of his treasure separated and fell to the ground behind him. It was a soiled panty liner. Yum! I looked back over at him, and the puzzle pieces fell into place quickly. A string dangled from his mouth as he chomped away. He was chewing his cud on a well-fermented tampon! Well done, Fergie.
Who would have thought that used feminine hygiene products would have an after-market appeal as dog treats? Fergus now had no interest in dog cookies, no way. Finally, I tempted his sorry little butt with a great looking stick thrown into the creek. He lost his concentration for just an instant and dropped the tampon, and I pounced with poop bag in hand. I have never felt so victorious and did a little dance to prove my superiority.
Fergus, however, did get the last laugh, as usual. Later in the hike, shortly after consuming some snippets of either wild canine or wild feline scat, chose the most inopportune moment to plant a juicy kiss on me, his beloved friend---right when I'm a little indisposed taking a leak in the woods. Maybe he's just getting ready for all that French bissou-ing he'll be doing in a few weeks.