Tino & the Rabbits

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As you know, we have a million Tino stories. Mostly because everyday was a new adventure with Tino – it’s part of what made him so special. Tino loved chasing critters. He didn’t care what it was – squirrels, coyotes, possums, but his favorite was rabbits. Or maybe they were his favorites because we had an abundance of rabbits in our yard so they were easy pickings.
When we first moved to our current home, Tino must have been about 7 years of age and hadn’t slowed a bit. The home was a bit of a fixer-upper and in the backyard there was an old built-in hot tub. It hadn’t been used in years and a family of rabbits had taken up residence underneath it. This was a wondrous discovery for Tino – a whole family of rabbits to chase and stalk right outside his back door.

Tino digging for critters - probably a gopher.

Tino digging for critters – probably a gopher.

(Note: Yes, I thought about putting up rabbit fencing as some of my neighbors did to keep them out of our yard, but not only does it not really work as they will just squeeze under it, but we live in farm country – near a huge state park – it was a losing battle. I wasn’t going to be able to keep them out of my yard.)

Tino possessed the patience of Job and spent MANY hours lying in wait at the edge of the hot tub just waiting for one of those rabbits to poke their head out. Eventually we had the hot tub removed and Tino was sad for many days…until he discovered that the rabbits had only moved under the even larger shipping container the previous family had left in the corner of our yard. An even bigger rabbit den – Woohoo!

I lost count of how many rabbits Tino caught over the years. I did the best I could to get them away from him before he ate the whole thing, but I was not always successful. The amazing thing is that Tino continued to catch rabbits even after he went blind. Certainly not many – I think only one or two…but tell me, how did he do it?

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  1. I could feel the hunting fever while reading… and Tino really got them? wow! I failed at my first rabbit hunt… no one can chase a rabbit with a humanoid sled in tow :o(
    easy rider recently posted…easyblog MISCHIEF MOANDAYMy Profile

  2. Tino and I would have been fast friends with our love of wabbit hunting. Mom has lost track of my count as well. Lately we don’t get many wabbits in the yard. I guess the word is out about our yard.
    Emma recently posted…My Big DreamMy Profile

    • They did start to dwindle over time – I think word does get out. They are back now though that Tino is gone and Jack has given up on chasing them.
      mkob recently posted…Tino & the RabbitsMy Profile

  3. That’s pretty amazing that he still caught them when he was blind! He must have done it somewhat by smell? Or maybe the rabbits let their guard down because they didn’t think they needed to be afraid of the blind dog. 🙂
    Jan K recently posted…Monday Mischief – Déjà VuMy Profile

    • I think it was a combination of that…and pure luck.
      mkob recently posted…Tino & the RabbitsMy Profile

  4. That’s amazing that he caught so many rabbits, and I’m wondering how the heck he did it after he lost his vision as well. He must have been using some sort of Jedi magic or something lol. You’re right about it being a losing battle; we’ve got so many darn rabbits, gophers, and voles around here. I know any attempts I’d try would be lost, there’s just too many of them. I guess it just comes with the territory. I’m very glad that Laika isn’t as good of a hunter as Tino – I really wouldn’t want to find myself trying to wrestle rabbits away from her. How did he catch them after he went blind, seriously?
    Jen Gabbard recently posted…33 Simple Ways to Keep Your Dog Busy IndoorsMy Profile

    • I seriously don’t know – I’d just find him with a rabbit in his mouth…Luck, skill, stupidity of the rabbit?
      mkob recently posted…Tino & the RabbitsMy Profile

  5. Love the Tino stories! His sense of smell was probably the biggest reason for successful hunting when blind. Although I’ll bet his recollection of what it felt like to stalk and see helped a lot. Thanks, Kate!

  6. My Patches is JUST like Tino with the rabbits. She’ll lay in one spot for hours, waiting. While they’ve burrowed under to the other side of whatever they were under or behind. Chewy chases them like a mad dog, but has yet to catch one.
    Flea recently posted…I Want a Goat, FBM 107My Profile

    • Yep – he’s fall asleep frequently while waiting, but be up in a flash if he detected movement.
      mkob recently posted…Tino & the RabbitsMy Profile

  7. I always enjoy these stories and memories. Thanks so much for sharing.
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!
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  8. Amazing that he would catch them when he was blind. Tino was a pretty incredible dog.

  9. Wow! Tino sounds like an expert hunter! I’m impressed he was able to continue catching them even after he lost his eyesight. It sounds like he was a special dog!
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  10. Tino must have used both his nose and hearing to track and catch those rabbits…fascinating! Luckily, Haley hasn’t been a successful hunter. The only time she caught an animal, it was a chipmunk that she picked up but she immediately let it go once it started squirming around in her mouth.
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  11. Your Tino sounds like he was a wonderful K9 companion. I’m very impressed with his hunting skills ~ our girl Missy is fascinated with small, moving animals, but has only ever caught one rabbit. She didn’t kill it (thankfully, although probably caused a serious heart attack!), but kept nudging it as if to see if it would squeak. Which it didn’t.
    Barbara Rivers recently posted…Boxing Puppies ~ Monday Mischief!My Profile

    • Tino was something special. He live in the wild for a number of months before we rescued him, so he HAD to hunt.
      mkob recently posted…Tino & the RabbitsMy Profile

  12. My boy is a critter chaser, too! As to how he “did it,” I have 2 theories. First, remember the tsunami and how the elephants and birds went to higher ground prior to the tsunami hitting. I posit electromagnetic wave detection. On the other hand, they believe dogs can alert people to seizures due to smell. Remember, a dog’s sense of smell is I think 6 million times greater than a human’s. So, perhaps he used a combination of both! And of course, there is the sense of hearing. He could have heard them scurrying around. It’s a well-known fact that when one loses one of their senses, the other ones become greater. Nice story……. 🙂

    • That is true – his hearing and smell really picked up when he went blind. I think there was a certain amount of luck too.
      mkob recently posted…Tino & the RabbitsMy Profile

  13. I would LOVE to see Bentley chase a rabbit. He’d would have to be a fenced field or he’d run down the rabbit hole like Alice! Tino’s ears and nose must have compensated for the loss of sight. Amazing, isn’t it?
    M. K. Clinton recently posted…Bentley Basset in B & WMy Profile

    • That would be fun to see with his ears flapping in the breeze.
      mkob recently posted…Tino & the RabbitsMy Profile

  14. Mr. N loves chasing rabbits as well.There’s a garden store by us that has free range rabbits that he likes to visit. They were closed the other day and he managed to wriggle under their fence. Luckily, he came back when I called him.

  15. Years ago, the kids had a golden retriever when we lived at Ft. Campbell. Major would bring me rabbits from the backyard often, and what always surprised me was his ability to hold the rabbit in his mouth without hurting them. I would ask him to take it back and he would carefully release it and we’d watch it hop away.

    • That is pretty amazing…I can’t say that Tino was gentle…it was food to him.
      mkob recently posted…Tino & the RabbitsMy Profile

  16. Poor bunnies! My Husky chases everything that moves. She loves to chase birds in particular; I never knew Huskies like to hunt birds until she came along.
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  17. Awe way to go Tino. Did he ever get fleas from his catches?
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  18. Tino sounds so awesome. Sherman’s been trying to catch rabbits for 8 years now and has not succeeded. He did catch a ground hog once though but he just laid on it.

  19. Well you know I am a big Tino fan. They do say when one sense fails them, the others pick up the slack. (Or something like that.) 😉

    Delilah is desperate to catch a chipmunk but they are too quick, I wonder how she would do with rabbits? I bet she would love it.
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