April 13, 2011 by The Dog Rules
I had intended to be blogging a whole lot more and life had other plans. I wonder where the time has flown. Just over a month and it isn’t like we haven’t been doing anything but I never found the time to write.
From snow and de-icing pellets through rain and mud to soggy lawns with daffodils and crocus – Dog and I have slogged through the lot.
We’ve raked and tidied the yard several times because of the extra strong winds that blew down tree branches. I pick up, rake and bag while Dog “helps” by digging the wet earth. Having no desire to plant potatoes I call to her to stop. She sniffs around the pile of leaves and branches and then trots off to find something or someone more interesting. Minutes later she returns to drop her ball in the pile I am raking together. I kick it away and she quickly returns it to the pile. Another kick. She chases and the game is on. The challenge is to amuse her without bagging her precious ball in the process. Finally I get the debris into the bag and the tie on it. It has only taken 2 or 3 times as long with such enthusiastic help. Ball in teeth, she proudly escorts me to the dumpster.
Now that it is getting light earlier we see more wildlife on our morning walks. The squirrels are busy being squirrels and ignore us. She desperately wants to catch one. Dog trots casually along pretending not to be stalking them. I’m always amazed by her focus when herding sheep or joggers (she can’t resist if they run too close) playing ball, and in treeing the furry-tailed rats. She sidles closer and closer, in the typical Border Collie crouch, to the distracted squirrel until she is noticed or can no longer restrain herself. Then she is off like a shot – circling to cut off escape. It always ends with her bouncing several feet up the tree trunk yelling canine challenges to the coward to come back and try that again!
One of her long time doggie buddies died of old age and she is clearly saddened by this. On every walk she pulls me by his house carefully scanning the window seat to see if he is watching us. Then checking the door to see if they are coming out to join our walk and ending up dragging me to the other door to check we didn’t miss them slipping out past us. When we meet his guardian she looks behind the person for her friend. Where is he? Why did she leave him behind? I see/imagine these questions in her mind when she turns to me and back again to where he “should” be. He was a dear little chap, a Yorkshire mix, who demanded cookies whenever he greeted me. A look up from under his fringe and a bark that lifted his front legs slightly off the ground. I guess we both miss him and his passing was a reminder that Dog is also now in the age bracket where the vet labels her a senior citizen. She still behaves like a pup!
This morning we saw coyotes on our walk. They are not at all concerned about the early morning traffic or us. I quickly put Dog on leash. She wants to drive the coyotes away. They are taller and longer legged than she is. I think she understands that they would be a threat to her sheep and I don’t think she takes that threat personally.