face of black & white dogDuring our woods walk, as we headed down the mountain toward the Roaring Brook, Annie the cocker had stopped, standing perpendicular in the narrow trail, her gaze off into the woods as she processed a scent. Behind me I heard the pounding hoof beats that was Sunny barreling down the trail toward us. As he veered left to avoid Annie, she headed in the same direction to pursue the scent. I watched breath bated, as they connected and Annie was knocked off her feet and sent rolling down the trail.

I had, as is my habit, treats, so we can work on different skills during our walk; whiplash turns, heeling, stays and recalls. I prepared myself to quickly respond to the scene by offering Annie treats as I fully expected her to get up spitting nails, as she has done for lesser intrusions on her space or body. But instead she got to her feet, oriented toward the scent and raced off into the woods after it.

If a scent could cause her to be oblivious to being trampled and tumbled is it any surprise that she might not notice when I say her name?