A Picture’s Worth a 1,000 Words?
Maybe not a 1,000 in this case, but what words would you put with this photo? What do you think is going on here? I’d love to hear what you all think. I know the dogs, the context and what happened before and after, so after I collect your input I’ll let you in on the story.
This might be a fun exercise for us to play every once in a while, yes? Let me know if you like the idea. I’ll write another post on Monday and describe the dogs, their relationship and what happened immediately after the photo was taken. But before that I’d love to hear how you evaluate what you are seeing.
And no fair cheating if you saw this on Facebook last week! It’s just such a great photo I couldn’t resist putting it out here. So… what’s going on here between these two dogs? What are the most likely things to happen next?
MEANWHILE, back on the farm: Glorious weather, lots of grass and happy sheep! And happy Willie too, because we’re managing the time to practice our driving skills (or lack thereof). I’m thinking of entering him in a sheepdog trial this fall that will have a demanding course and difficult sheep, so we have lots of work to do. Tootsie is good too, although she wasn’t a fan of the thunderstorm yesterday morning, but she is already improving greatly with some counter conditioning and cuddles in the bed.
There’s a last chapter in the kitten chronicles too. You may remember that I spent weeks taming the wild things enough to trap them in a cage, took them into the house and began truly taming them in the bathroom converted to a kitty condo. Great homes were found right away for two kittens, and two others went to the good folks at Dane County Friends of Ferals. I kept Callie the Calico in hopes she could grow up to be a healthy, happy barn cat, and that her mother, who I trapped and had spayed, would stay around with her. You may recall I can’t have a cat in the house anymore and have a barn scurrying with rodents, so it seemed like a win/win. But, as often happens, life has other plans. Instead of staying around with Callie, momma cat began trying to lure her away into the woods. Callie, still a young kitten and too small to be spayed, was absent from the barn for increasing periods of time. Her mom was never in the barn anymore. Even when she’d been there with her kittens, she stayed in the upper hay mow and avoided the area in the lower level with the grain and thus, the mice. I actually was trapping mice for her and bringing them up to the haymow on the upper level of the barn and presenting them to momma cat. You may laugh out loud here, who could blame you?
After recovering from her spay surgery, momma cat began to move into the woods and lure Callie there with her. AT one point there was NO little kitten in my barn at any time during the day, except to come and eat dinner at nine o’clock at night. She came running down from the woods, presumably away from her mother, rubbed all over me and ate her dinner. (I should say here that I have no idea what exactly her mom was doing and even if she was still alive, I’m just guessing it was her mom who lured her away from the barn. I can’t imagine what else would have, and she always went in the direction her mom took in and out of the barn.)
That was enough for me. No way was I going to let a tiny, mostly white, hawk-bait of an unspayed kitten become yet another wild cat living in the woods and having litter after litter if she lived that long. The decision made, I went to the barn at 9 pm, ready to pick up Callie the Adorable, bring her back in the house and find her a safer place to live. No Callie. I called and called. No Callie. I walked back to the house, sick with worry, and back to the barn 15 minutes later. No Callie. This continued for a gut wrenching and endless 45 minutes, until she finally dashed toward me from the woods around 10 at night. I picked her up and carried her into the farmhouse, snuggling my face against her fur, allergies be damned. Dan Johnson, bless him, of Friends of Ferals came to pick her up the next day, and within just a few more days she’d already found her perfect, forever home.
And here it is, with Veterinary Technician Jenny Maahs. She is as over the moon about Callie as one could be, and I’m thrilled that it has all worked out so well.
And here’s more good news: The remaining two kittens, the two little ginger girls Brava and Gabby, are available right now (Friday the 17th and Saturday the 18th) at the Catapalooza at the Dane County Humane Society in Madison, WI. Here’s my request: If you adopt one (or both?), please, please give Friends of Ferals permission for me to contact you and send you a present. If you’d like to come out to the farm and see where they were born I’m sure I could arrange that!