I used to be clearing out the (method too many) images on my laptop computer, and bumped into this video from years in the past. It just about sums up the connection between canines and cats: Extremely variable, and all the time attention-grabbing. Some canines are greatest pals with cats, some ignore them, and a few both chase them, or attempt to herd them. Or are afraid of them, typically for good purpose.
Within the video, you’ll see Maggie, on the left, defending Nellie from Willie. Willie, like many Border Collies (together with Skip) understand cats as bizarre, mushy-hoofed livestock. Maggie, then again, was protecting of Nellie the second they met. What I really like most concerning the video is Maggie’s facial features. She is likely one of the most expressive canines I’ve ever identified, and often has both a candy, passive resting face (the true Resting Bitch Face), or radiates pleasure like a sparkler. She completely able to throwing shade at occasions towards me or one other canine if Princess Margaret feels her royalty just isn’t being honored, however I’ve by no means seen her look so severe. What Willie wish to do is herd Nellie as if she have been a sheep, and on just a few events, nip at her if she doesn’t obey. Why isn’t she shifting away after I strategy like a stalking predator? How can I acquire management of this creature I’m genetically programmed to herd? Poor Willie.
Equally amusing to me is Nellie’s habits. You’ll be able to see how careworn she is by Willie’s habits–as in, not. However is she reveling in Willie’s incapability to do what he desires to do? Or simply having fun with a pleasant roll on the rug? Making attributions about psychological states is a harmful sport typically, however on this case, it’s arduous to not think about that there’s one thing occurring associated to Willie.
Skip got here to us, reportedly, having by no means seen a cat in his life, and his habits mirrored that. He seemed shocked the primary time he met ours, started to chase Polly one evening (simply stopped, however Jim, Polly, and I have been equally frightened for a protracted few seconds), after which morphed into attempting to herd the cats. He turned a canine who was was actually obsessed, and I had my work reduce out for me in these early days. At first I couldn’t get his consideration when he was watching a cat. Right here’s a video of the method we started bduring the primary few weeks, be aware how “Look” didn’t work, however “Home” did. (Which suggests, “go into the home.”) It appears to be like like nothing, however critically, this was large progress on the time.
After just a few extra weeks, he got here away simply on the first attempt, however so long as Nellie and Polly have been right here, he by no means gave up responding to the cats as in the event that they have been tiny sheep.
All this received me pondering about how attention-grabbing, and assorted, are the relationships between canines and cats. Greatest pals. Enemies. Livestock. Predators. Prey. Younger mammals to be nurtured. Play mates.
As you possibly can think about, given the subject, it was inconceivable for me to not fall down the google rabbit gap of “canine and cat movies.” This one cropped up immediately, and I embrace it as a result of 1) the German Shepherd within the second video is simply too lovable for phrases, and the bulldog canine within the third section scares me due to all of the physique trapping and neck biting. (Is it too late to rescue that cat, or is it simply me?)
I might like to have a dialog concerning the relationship between canines and cats. Your experiences? Your ideas? I’m early in mulling on this, nevertheless it does really feel prefer it’s a relationship that’s typically stereotyped and simplified. However, it feels much more sophisticated and attention-grabbing than is commonly given credit score. I’d love to provide it our consideration.
MEANWHILE, again on the farm: We’re simply again from the Star of the North Sheepdog Trial in Minnesota final weekend, and what a stunning weekend it was. Right here’s the view Friday morning from our camper:
The colours have been non cease:
I used to be disenchanted in our runs although. Skip ran too huge on his outrun on his first run, missed the sheep utterly, after which flanked so huge after I requested him to return towards the sheep that he ended up on the set out pens. Lastly, after about THREE YEARS, he got here again to me calling him, and received on the sheep. We had a beautiful run after that, however after all, misplaced a gazillion factors. His second run had a great outrun and fetch, however we received crushed by a wily outdated ewe who took benefit of me stopping Skip quick just a few occasions, and we had a large number of a drive. I really feel badly that I let him down. He runs waaaay too huge, particularly when he’s careworn, however, nonetheless, I didn’t do my job properly sufficient. Sigh.
However, nonetheless, it’s a sport, proper? It was attractive all weekend, if a bit nippy. Okay, it was actually chilly the primary day, within the 30’s and low 40’s, however once you’re surrounded by this, how unhealthy can or not it’s?
On Sunday Maggie and Skip received to assist set out sheep for the Novice runs, and had a good time. Right here’s the place we have been compelled to work. Poor us.
Maggie and Skip traded off, whereas arduous working Samantha (out of the picture) let 4 sheep at a day trip of the pens. Thanks Samantha for making it simple for me, and to John Wentz who did the higher a part of the setting out. We have been simply the transition crew (it was a good distance from the pens to the set out, and over the crest of a hill), however we had a good time. Due to Pearce Ward for placing on such an incredible trial, and to everybody else who labored so arduous to make it so. (I’m particularly speaking to you Claudia and Maddie!)
After the Novice class was over, Skip received to maneuver the sheep that have been left over to the opposite set out pens for the Open class. We loved it equally–I really like actual work and by no means get sufficient of it on our little farm with our tiny flock and small pastures.
I hope there was numerous good in your weekend too. Inform us about it, and add your ideas and experiences of canines and cats getting alongside. Or not. You realize, like “cats and canines.”