Sometimes, well, not sometimes, actually almost daily, I think about what an incredible horse my dog would be, if he were a horse. Still with me? I’ve never really thought about what my lab, Karma’s, personality would be like if she were a horse; she’s such a typical lab (is beyond obsessive about balls, if she can catch the faintest whiff of ocean air she goes wild, could play fetch all day, is friendly with just about everyone, I could go on…) Karma is all canine, wants only to please and be (wo)man’s best friend and there’s no point imagining her doing anything other than being a dog.
Kieffer on the other hand… he is a wild one and it’s doubtful that his DNA make up is all canine. He is built like a racehorse—slim and fast with strong, muscley hindquarters—and he sure can run like one. In fact, I’ve seriously considered entering him in a Whippet or Greyhound race (only I have no idea where those are run…and if dog racing even still exists? Although I think it must because I know of a few rescue Greyhounds… Alright, maybe I should do a bit more research before investing too much in Kieffer’s dog racing career.) In my limited knowledge of Greyhound racing, I know the dogs wear a muzzle and have to chase after a fake rabbit as it electronically bounds down the track, just ahead and out of reach of the dogs. Now, while I don’t doubt that Kieffer would chase after a rabbit, it’s the birds that he really speeds after. So, in my version of Kieffer The Race Dog, he would be chasing a fake, electronic bird with wings that were programmed to flap. Brilliant, no? He’d be unstoppable.
On second thought, the muzzle may prove to be his downfall in the race. Kieffer has been introduced to the muzzle before and he did NOT like it (and no, it’s not because he’s aggressive, quite the opposite in fact). The reason my über friendly puppy required a muzzle is because one day he decided, out of the blue, after six months of happily sleeping in his soft-shell kennel in the car, that it would be fun to shred the mesh siding of the kennel and make a grand escape. After he tore apart the one side and found his freedom, he took to gnawing on the zipper, almost successfully ensuring that the kennel would be unfixable (he’d obviously forgotten about my good friend who is an incredible seamstress and had already foiled his many attempts to chew through his harness by sewing it up each time he nashed his way through the soft material).
After the epic kennel-destroy, I didn’t know what to do with him in the car. The whole reason he had to be in a kennel is because he’d chewed through all three seat belts in the back seat. So, I decided a muzzle might be his last option otherwise he’d be banished from any and all car rides. Now that he’d discovered a taste for seat belts, I was positive that the driver’s and passenger side seat belts were next on his list.
The muzzle, however, lasted all of two minutes (I’m too much of a softie and kept feeling badly for the little gaffer) so now he’s back to being muzzle-less and confined to a hard kennel in the car.
But I digress… Kieffer would make an amazing horse because he also jumps like his hind legs were made of pogo sticks. He jumps over everything, including patches of floor in between strips of carpet, as if the floor was molten lava and if her were to touch it his paws would be scorched.
He leaps and bounds with ease akin to a gazelle. People have compared him to a kangaroo, a deer and a jackrabbit, but in my mind, I see the potential he would have if he were a horse. With his speed, his endurance, the amazing bounce he has in his step that sends his front paws popping up so high they almost clear his head, and his effortless jump—he would make the most incredible three day event horse!
The aspect that would likely be his undoing is that he’s
a) TERRIFIED of water (if you follow my blog you’ll know this already)
b) Is incredibly spooky
Spooky is a word we horse people use to describe horses who frighten and shy easily, like at a leaf blowing across the street for example. Kieffer spooks very easily and often at the same things a horse would find scary looking, such as on garbage day when the bins and bags are placed at the end of everyone’s driveway in the neighbourhood. Kieffer does NOT trust those bags. Not for a second. He leaps away and twirls around so he can face them. Then he growls and barks, all the while backing off. No amount of my coaxing will reassure him that the bag is simply a smelly, inanimate object.
Alas, this spookiness is probably what would have saved his life if he’d continued to grow up on the streets in Belize and in a horse, while we often regard spooky horses as frustrating to ride, really, their flighty, overly cautious personalities would have meant their survival in the wild. And as we know, Kieffer is a survivor and not a horse. So really, while it’s fun to day dream, it’s far more enjoyable to watch his hilarious antics.