If there is one word that really makes Milo spin out, it would have to be ‘walk’. As mentioned before with Milo’s magnificent flying skills, he is now also well advanced in language skills, for a dog that is. Back on the farm, the world was his oyster, his kingdom, his fiefdom. He was outside much more than inside. Here within the limitations of a town-house, Milo too had adjustments to make. No longer can he chase rabbits or stir up foxes. He used to love sitting around the corner of the shearing shed. The rabbits had their warren-home underneath the hard-wood slatted floor and multiplied themselves at amazing rates. Sooner or later, the kits had to leave home. Milo understood that part of life very well. He left home and mum when just a couple of months old. Even though cradled safely in Helvi’s hands on the way from his home in Goulburn to the farm, Milo would not stop shaking. He misses his mum. Poor little Milo!
Anyway, some of the little fluffy rabbits were just a little too daring and unexperienced when it came to being out in this big nasty wide world. Milo darted around the corner like a flash. He held many in his jaws and would proudly leave their bodies on the choir matting near the front door. Good boy, Milo, good boy! Sometimes I wondered though if Milo has a conscience. Killer Milo, a bad boy is Milo. Perhaps Milo knew the rabbits were in plague proportions, better still, he knew and understood that foxes too were lurking around the corner. He interpreted the nightly crying of the vixen’s kits near the river as their need for food as well; conveniently forgetting that he was well provided for and hardly needed to eat a wild rabbit. No, Milo has a deep-seated hatred for rabbits, ducks, magpies and horses too. He isn’t perfect.
Now for his language prowess: “I think I’ll take Milo for a ‘spazieren,’ I’ll say. If I use ‘walk’, he goes berserk. Even, the words ‘going for’ he understands and pricks up his ears. Helvi and I now have to speak German or even Finnish if we don’t want Milo to understand something in private. Of course, when I am ready I’ll just look at him and say it up front; ‘I am going to go for a walk’. He will then look at my feet and knows that no shoes mean no walk yet. His moment of triumph arrives with my feet shod and hands holding a lead. He squats under the door handle and jumps up and down manically trying to twist the handle. No luck so far, but he is getting close. I then open the door and he bolts (sorry for the reminder) out. He has his twice daily walk. I usually include a walk along a narrow flowing creek. He’ll spot the ducks well before me, straining at the lead. If only, if only boss would go off the lead. He would kill once more, please let me… No Milo, leave the ducks…. Be a good boy now.
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