I used to be clearing out the (approach too many) pictures 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 finest associates with cats, some ignore them, and a few both chase them, or attempt to herd them. Or are afraid of them, typically for good motive.
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, however, was protecting of Nellie the second they met. What I really like most in regards to the video is Maggie’s facial features. She is likely one of the most expressive canines I’ve ever recognized, and normally has both a candy, passive resting face (the actual Resting Bitch Face), or radiates pleasure like a sparkler. She completely able to throwing shade at instances towards me or one other canine if Princess Margaret feels her royalty 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 a couple of events, nip at her if she doesn’t obey. Why isn’t she transferring 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 harassed she is by Willie’s habits–as in, not. However is she reveling in Willie’s lack of ability 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 recreation generally, however on this case, it’s arduous to not think about that there’s one thing happening 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 regarded 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 making an attempt to herd the cats. He grew to become 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 through the first few weeks, observe how “Look” didn’t work, however “Home” did. (Which implies, “go into the home.”) It seems to be like nothing, however severely, this was big progress on the time.
After a couple of extra weeks, he got here away simply and the primary 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 acquired me pondering about how attention-grabbing, and diverse, are the relationships between canines and cats. Finest associates. Enemies. Livestock. Predators. Prey. Younger mammals to be nurtured. Play mates.
As you’ll be able to 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 instantly, and I embrace it as a result of 1) the German Shepherd within the second video is simply too cute for phrases, and the canine within the second video scares the hell out of me. (Is it too late to rescue that cat?)
I might like to have a dialog in regards to the relationship between canines and cats. Your experiences? Your ideas? I’m early in mulling on this, but it surely does really feel prefer it’s a relationship that’s typically stereotyped and simplified. However, it feels way more sophisticated and attention-grabbing than is commonly given credit score. I’d love to offer 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 beautiful weekend it was. Right here’s the view Friday morning from our camper:
The colours have been non cease:
I used to be disillusioned in our runs although. Skip ran too extensive on his outrun on his first run, missed the sheep fully, after which flanked so extensive 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 acquired on the sheep. We had a stunning run after that, however in fact, misplaced a gazillion factors. His second run had an excellent outrun and fetch, however we acquired crushed by a wily outdated ewe who took benefit of me stopping Skip brief a couple of instances, and we had a large number of a drive. I really feel badly that I let him down. He runs waaaay too extensive, particularly when he’s harassed, however, nonetheless, I didn’t do my job effectively sufficient. Sigh.
However, nonetheless, it’s a recreation, proper? It was beautiful all weekend, if a bit nippy. Okay, it was actually chilly the primary day, within the 30’s and low 40’s, however while you’re surrounded by this, how unhealthy can or not it’s?
On Sunday Maggie and Skip acquired to assist set out sheep for the Novice runs, and had a good time. Right here’s the place we have been pressured to work. Poor us.
Maggie and Skip traded off, whereas arduous working Samantha (out of the photograph) let 4 sheep at a day trip of the pens. Thanks Samantha for making it straightforward for me, and to John Wentz who did the higher a part of the setting out. We have been simply the transition staff (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 a terrific 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 acquired 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 plenty of 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.”