I have 3 dogs, to which there is a long story.
We’ve always had working collie dogs. The latest in this line, Dog 1 (the eldest of the 3), was given to us as a stray. For a good long while he was fine, and we fussed over him, and cuddled and what not. Then one night he disappears, and we figure we’ve seen the last of him. Unfortunate, but c’est la vie.
Then we get a call – hes holed up at a neighbour’s a mile or two down the road. Theres a bunch of other dogs there (but it wasn’t from there he strayed) and they don’t mind. So we bring him home. And he runs again. And again.
So he stays locked up during the day, with at least two very long walks for cattle herding. He still works, but you do like them to be able to do their own running around. We use all the little folk remedies we’ve heard on this subject, but nothing works.
This done, we decide to go for companionship, and we get a pup that was going spare. Dog 2 is a springer spaniel, atypically bred as a gun dog – hunt what falls, is not spooked by loud noises. He is a very good natured little chap who appears to have an irrational fear of people in dresses – not women in general you understand, just when they’re wearing dresses. I think he may have had some scarring encounter with a circus tent when he was very young. Not necessarily very intelligent as a cowdog – understands the concept of chasing not to kill, but is really bad at direction or cohesion – but that is not what hes bred for, and hes all cuddly and loveable. Leaps like he’s on a trampoline.
As such, Dog 3 is subsequently called into play. She was promised when we were looking for Dog 2, and we still need a working dog, which Dog 2 isn’t. 3 is the smallest of the bunch, a collie/mix which means shes also almost certainly the most intelligent of the three. Intellectually she is only behind a court cairn terrier we once had, ( Dog 0, if you will) and the resident rabbits and rats were driven before her tenacious will. Dog 3 is almost as intelligent, and can also do birds. She is an excellent cowdog, perhaps even as terrifying as Dog 1 despite her diminutive stature, or perhaps because of it, as she is prone to come out anywhere with flight and bark.
Dog 2 is so sweet-natured that, when we introduce the two and he is somewhat larger than Dog 3 and she is still very shy (which, in time, she overcame) he is very nice to the smaller dog, even giving her some of his bones. (Really. And shes been put out of heat, by the way). Dog 3 is so intellgent that, for fun, she works how to get out of her pen quite quickly, using both agility and patience. Dog 2 is so sweet natured that when she does this, he simply jumps over the wall and out of the pen, something which he could apparently do the whole time, merely saw no reason to.
And so, we introduce them to Dog 1. And while he doesn’t necessarily like Dog 2, he really likes 3.
And then he runs away. And so, we have 3 dogs for the purposes of keeping one, which has failed, and for the purpose of being cuddly little poppets, at which all three succeed famously. More next week.
On last week’s martian mineral madness:
NASA has announced that it has discovered perchlorates in soil
samples collected by its Phoenix robot lander. This suggests there
could possibly be Martian animals with perchlorate-fuelled
metabolisms, living off perchlorate-concentrating plants.
For those keeping score, twelve predictive rants mean the end of the world. And apparentl Irish meetings with the Danish says I’m right about a Lisbon Treaty reissue. Two down, ten to go.