Saturday, May 30, 2015
What to do with a retired sheepdog. We’re trying to let
Chelsea off her lead a
bit more often because she doesn’t have any sheep to herd anymore and we don’t
want her to go crazy with boredom. Not that she isn’t a little crazy already.
She is a purebred Border Collie, after all. Who knows what’s going on in her
twisted little mind.
One minute she’s all wagging tail and smiles and the next, SNAP. More than once we have been fooled by her calm, friendly demeanour, only to have our hands or ankles bitten as she flips out on us. She never bites the Farmer but she has bitten just about everyone else who approaches her, at least once. I’ve been bitten twice. It’s never a big bite – it’s more like a nip but she does have sharp enough teeth to put holes in your jeans and it’s more the shock factor that she’s going for. I could do without the adrenalin rush.
Today the Farmer decided to let
Chelsea follow him around as he worked in the
barn. For the first few minutes she followed him from room to room, at his
heels. She curled up in the straw and had a nap, checked out every corner for
cats or mice, and stood up on her hind feet to peek into abandoned pens. Then
at some point the Farmer realized he wasn’t being followed anymore. He assumed
she was sleeping in one of the pens until he heard whimpering. He followed the
sound and there she was, all tangled in some baler twine. She had to be cut out
The next thing on
agenda was to check out the cows. She went into the back room where they nap in
the cool shade and drink their water from the refillable water fountain. Again
up on her hind legs she checked out this device, had a sniff and a drink of the
cool, fresh water. Then she peeked around the corner and found half a dozen
napping calves. That’s when the trouble started.
The mother cows were not exactly appreciative. If you’ve never been between a cow and her calf, just don’t. It isn’t advisable. Even Mocha, our tame, apple-munching and people-loving cow, doesn’t like anyone near her babies.
The Farmer caught his dog just in time and moved her to safety. They went to check the chicks together.
Chelsea up on her hind legs, peering under
the heat lamp at the fluffy peeping lumps as the Farmer counted, adjusted,
refilled feed and water and straw.
It was somewhere between the water filling and the straw refurbishing when
disappeared. Silent as a phantom, she went back to confront the cows. The
Farmer arrived just as she was being tossed against the fence on the snout of a
furious cow. He intervened and saved her from being kicked and trampled by the
herd. I think the next time he says ‘stay away from the cows’, she will listen.
She is a very smart dog. The Farmer says she’s a wonderful dog. I am jealous.
She never bites him. I would like her to stop biting me, so that we can enjoy
our life here together on this beautiful farm.
For now, I’ll wear leather gloves and jeans with boots and take my chances.
Posted by Diana Leeson Fisher at 4:56 PM