Pumpkin had big boots to fill when she succeeded Boof – TRM’s original guard dog. Boof – on right – was famous for his trout catching ability.
We will never know if he was really hunting for trout or not. I suspect he searched along the river banks sniffing for rats but as soon as he discovered a trout lying ‘doggo’ in the shallows he would launch himself at it and box it to submission. Then he would casually take it up on the bank to dig a grave and bury it.
Pumpkin arrived with Stacy from the SPCA in September 2102 – image on left. They had alreraady decided without even being asked that Boof needed a succession plan. So we were hoping he would pass some of this instinctive hunting skill onto his successor Pumpkin.
No way!. After only a couple of days Pumpkin – being female – was leading him and showing off her tricks – like how they always open the door if you bark long enough.
Pumpkin’s speciality is bunnies. As TRM is located close to the Tongariro River with vast untamed areas of secondary growth (blackberry!) along the banks it is a rabbit paradise.
There are so many down the nearest street heading to the river that they spill over into the residential area.
Often we might see 10 or more scampering around the car park reserve near the Tongariro River.
At TRM the usual resident population is between four and six. They are hard to count but the farming tradition is you only ever see ten percent so there may be far more? They are pests as they eat the tops off many of SWMBO’s new plantings and shrubs.
So we have not discouraged Pumpkin’s favourite game – chasing rabbits.
Every morning she does a frantic patrol around the boundary lawns hoping the rabbits are busy feeding.
Usually she is too slow and they get away but finally she caught one by herding it into the fence where it could not escape.
So cunning? I doubt if it was deliberate but just bad luck by the rabbit.
So there you are. Pumpkin was sooooo proud. She may finally earn her keep if she can deal with the rest of the herd in TRM’s warren…