Back when Hubby and I first got married we occasionally spoke about having a dog and agreed that it probably wouldn't work as we were so close to the highway that we'd have to pen it up...etc...etc. THEN along came Ellen, whose romantical ideas gained from reading cutesy books about puppies and the like were impervious to Mom's logic concerning the work and aggravations in the owning of sitch.
A bit over a year and a half ago the pleadings hit their peak. Mom remained strictly opposed, Dad caved. However, such an addition must be made to eventually contribute to the good of all; namely support itself in one way or another. Thus, in March 2014, the following was added to our menagerie;
Bella: The Dog I Didn't Want
Cute? You bet. BUT; who mostly takes care of her? The person who didn't want her. Namely Mom, which would be me, as it were.
Pain in the butt? You double-dog bet! A Border Collie is not really a breed for a kid for one thing; very, very high strung and wants to chase, chase, chase and is prone to nip whilst chasing. Very, very smart as well. She knows good and well not to be caught when she's out of her kennel; and won't go in it if she has the faintest inkling she'll get shut back up in it. Does she poop when she's out of her kennel running around? I trow not. Verily after most every walk when returned to her kennel does she vent her opinion of being locked back in with the laying of a doggie doodle or 3 or 4. Who cleans it up? Not the one who paid for her, not the one who wanted her. The first hasn't the time, the second makes more of a mess than I care to deal with every day.
And lest we forget, TDIDW must earn her keep. To that end when the weather clears up and is agreeable to sitch she must be trained to herd cattle. Who is going to do that, I ask you? Not the one who wanted her, not the one who paid for her. We have a DVD some dude from OK made on how to train cattle dogs. Fifteen minutes a day for 30 days should do the trick. We here are all a bit dubious about it, but we shall give it a try. She already knows “sit” fairly well, and is learning “down” which means she must lie on the ground. We really need to work on “come” and “stay.” Then evenually will come “way to me” and “come by.” One means left and the other means right, but beats me which is which.
The second way she will earn her keep is by reproducing. This brings on issues the like of which I do not wish to discuss. Needless to say the every issue concerning this is messy.
If she were to see all the black marks against her TDIDW would likely whine in despair and never look at me again. But I have learned to be thankful for her. (To a certain extent....I certainly wouldn't cry at all if she found herself a good, dog-friendly home where she'd be loved. Then my cat and I could live in peace.)
I do love to go for walks, but before TDIDW came along I'd usually get busy with inside things and not get a chance to get outside. But now I see that furry face peering from her kennel and my guilt gets to me so we go walking most weather-agreeable mornings after Ellen's off to school and the chores are completed. We go mostly down in the creek bottoms and up the back ridge. She has the greatest time chasing squirrels and rabbits. Occasionally she will go after deer, but not often. She was born to run and I love to watch her skim along the field like a bullet. I like to watch her and guess by her behaviour what animal she is smelling. In the bushes when she wags her tail while she's sniffing I imagine she's located a rabbit trail. Then sometimes when she crouches down and kind of slinks warily along staying close to me, I believe she smells coyote. They are all over back down there.
This winter, in the snow, she actually has been a great help to me. I hitch her to Ellen's sled and away we go; fun for Ellen, exercise for Bella and I. And Bella seems to love it too, though she only really puts her heart into it when she is heading toward calves to bark at. Or to the front porch to get a treat that I usually carry with me to give her. We all get a laugh at her digging in her claws and hunching along like a miniature sled dog. “Mush, mush” Ellen will call, and we laugh again.
TDIDW is always glad to see me, is very affectionate with her greetings and never gives me any backtalk. So all in all, she is worthy to be on my 1000 gifts list.