Throwback Thursday: Ruedi Performs an Exploit

by Pat Goodmann

In a March 22, 2005 observation by Jess Addams, Ruedi was observed using submissive behavior and a distraction to get what he wanted.  He did it so subtly that she did not realize what he had done until she saw the pictures of the incident on her office monitor later.  In Jess’ words:

“Tristan was Dad in “Look Upon Me And Tremble” mode. Chetan submitted to him. Erin submitted to him. The puppies submitted to him. He wandered around with his tail in the air and his hackles halfway up, looking for someone to make him angry so he could grump at them. No-one dared to make him angry. He eventually got bored, and went and dug up a weird old deer part and wandered around with it. He cached it. 

Tristan caching the deer hide

While he was caching it, Renki walked up and emitted body language to the tune of “May I have that deer part, please, Sir?” Tristan did not want to share and grumped at Renki, who promptly flattened himself against the ground and squeaked, waving his paws submissively. 

Renki, Ruedi and Ayla begin their approach

Renki Submitting

Ruedi wandered over to see if he could “help” Tristan squash Renki. Tris put up with this up to a point — but when Ruedi casually flung a hind leg over Renki’s prone body so he could stand over him, Tristan couldn’t take it anymore and made Ruedi roll over as well. 

Tristan rejecting Ruedi’s “help”

At this point, things got a little muddled as both boys (and Ayla, who had wandered past) submitted to Tristan, Tristan grumped at them, and everybody kind of scooted around in a little circle, with the boys trying to avoid Dad and [Tris] trying to push them off his cache. It took looking at the photos, afterward, for me to see that Ruedi, who was apparently submitting while squashed under Renki, was actually raiding Tristan’s cache and digging up the deer part with his forefeet!  

Ruedi steals the deer hide while Tristan is focused on Renki

Tristan now begins to realize what Ruedi has done as Ruedi begins to stand triumphantly

Seconds later, while Tristan was still reading Renki the riot act, Ruedi got the deer part loose and came up out of the pile with it held triumphantly in his jaws. With a surreptitious glance at Tristan, he casually got to his feet and strolled off, leaving Tristan and Renki looking at each other as if to say, “Did I miss something?” Renki snuck off while Tristan stuffed his nose into the hole where his cache had been, trying to figure out where he’d lost control of the situation.”

Ruedi runs away with his “prize” while Renki and Ayla are left with an angry, deer-less Tristan


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