Yes, it’s a new word to me as well!
As I have been intimating previously, today is the start of my mother from London visiting us here in Oregon. Thus, as one would expect, time for blogging is going to be restricted. Then in a week’s time, we are also joined by my sister, Elizabeth, who lives in Tokyo. So, dear reader, you will understand if there is a deficit of creative writing, assuming you find some of it creative, why that is.
Does your dog pronk?
Alpacas, gazelles, some deer and baby lambs are all known to pronk. That is, they leap into the air as if leaping for joy, lifting all four feet off the ground at once. The fact that – in some species like sheep – young animals do it more than older ones does suggest playfulness. But, among wild animals, pronking may be a way of avoiding predators. It means something like, “Hey, I’m very fit so don’t bother chasing me.”
But how about dogs? I didn’t find much online discussion about true dog-pronking, although many of us, at one time or another, may have seen our dog leaping for joy. I recall my own dog Snoop (rest his soul) released from the car in a South Dakota meadow, leaping and running like crazy through the long grass for maybe 20 minutes, until we called him back. It was one of the most joyful things I’ve ever seen, and definitely one of my best memories of Snoop.
So enjoy the videos below. And, by the way, although it is a survival strategy for some, the very word pronk comes from an Afrikaans verb pronk-, which means show off or strut. It has the same linguistic derivation as our English verb prance.
“Pronking” seems to occur when an animal gets excited and jumps around his field, leaving the ground with all four feet simultaneousl, almost as though he had springs attached to his feet..Often these jumps can be high in the air.No-one really knows why llamas pronk. Certainly it is the response to some sort of excitement or disturbance. It is often infectious; sometimes my entire herd will take off. I am told that it isn’t only llamas but sheep and goats. Those of you old enough to remember BBC’s Magic Roundabout may well recall that Zebedee was a “pronker”. We never had a telly as kids, but I believe Zebedee was a dog (??).
Bottom line: Among wild animals, pronking seems to be a way of avoiding predators. But when you see an animal pronk, you can’t but think it’s leaping for joy.
So there you go. Don’t say that Learning from Dogs doesn’t teach you some new words from time to time!