Skoobie, the Woodchuck Dog

A Salute to Man's best friend and Woodchuck's worst enemy!

Skoobie was inside a kennel at the SPCA when we first met. I was impressed when he immediately obeyed my command to "sit". That was March 08, 2000 at 2:00 P.M. He was 1 year old and already an accomplished Pointer. He continues to impress me.

He was a little rough at first, and any creature that came into his field of view had better be prepared for a chase or for the ultimate sacrafice! I have since weened him off of resident Rabbits. Now his favorite pastime is hunting Groundhogs, next to pressing up against you for a hug. 

When the breeze is right, he can smell a Groundhog in a neighboring field  600 yards away. When I see him walk toward that field as if his nose was pinned to a washline, I know the chase is on. And off he goes; usually to return with a Groundhog. 

If the grass is high and he senses a Groundhog, he takes to the air like a Pogo Stick . When I see him pop up above the grass, I know the chase is on again, and that Groundhog better have a burrow nearby, or he is history.

I have seen him hurry around a grass patch, hit the brakes, and go on point in the shape of a horse shoe with his head looking back toward his tail - only inches away from a Rabbit.

When he's hungry, he puts his paw on the feed bucket lid. When he senses a varmint, he freezes with a paw lifted - usually the left one. He will hold this pose for 3 to 5 minutes if told to, "Stay". He readily learned several hand signals to go in an indicated direction and also to come back and sit.

Once he was kidnapped to a town 55 miles away, where a lucky family enjoyed his company for a week, until some determined detective work turned up his whereabouts. 

1- He was positive the bird bath was his personal and private drinking fountain from the day it was placed in the front yard, and any Groundhog found bathing in it would be in double trouble!

2- He helps plant trees by testing the cool hole on a hot Spring day.

3- He keeps watch over the local Ringnecks to make sure they don't catch any of his Groundhogs.

4- His record: two big Groundhogs within an hour.

5- "There's one in that tree, I know there's one in that tree".

6- I'm telling you, "Right there is one, don't you see him?"

7- This fence row has several burrows. He knows where they are and knows if some critter lives there. I have seen him spend half a day watching that fence row from his vantage point. 

He has learned to use the nearby Spruce trees for a shield as he cautiously approaches the area crouched like a Cat. He has calculated how far they must be from the burrow to allow him to overtake them when he turns on the afterburner. He has also learned to avoid tongue and lip bites.

Skoobie, you are a mighty fine hunter and companion!