I don’t own a fly-swatter. I haven’t owned one for years. I have a fly catcher instead: my dog.
Aussie is very very good at catching flies. Her patience amazes me. So does her fixation. She’ll sit and stare at where a fly is, waiting for it to fly close enough to her, and then she’ll leap up and catch it in her mouth. No joke. Remember that scene in the Karate Kid where Mr. Miyagi sits very very still and then catches the fly with his chopsticks? Yeah. Substitute my dog for Mr. Miyagi and her mouth for the chopsticks and you’ve got it. It’s incredible.
The one issue is that she fixates. Seriously fixates. I ate chips and she didn’t even move because she was so focused on the corner where the fly was. Normally she’d be lying in wait for dropped crumbs, but Aussie didn’t even flick an ear as I crunched down. I’ve been known to have a hard time getting her to leave the fly long enough to eat dinner. After dinner, she’ll return to the same place and position and wait to catch the damn fly.
More than once, she has failed to catch the fly before it’s time for bed. I drag (literally drag) her away from watching it so we can go upstairs to bed. What amazes me even more, is the next morning she’ll go back to the place she last saw the fly and look for it!! It’s kind of scary, actually.
Basically the only way she stops looking for it is either, a) she catches it, or b) she gives up. Aussie doesn’t give up easily. Anyone that’s played tug-of-war with my dog knows she’s as stubborn as I am (and I’m really stubborn). So she’ll keep looking for that fly, checking periodically for it’s reappearance, for a good 24 hours before she actually gives up. This means constant vigilance on her part. She’ll check the corner where she last saw it, and keep and eye out for it flying around, do something else, but then go back and check the corner again. Every time she leaves the room and then returns she’ll check the corner. She fixates. It blows my mind, and sometimes worries me just a little bit.
But, ultimately, I have no flies in my house. So I’m not complaining.