Re: Dogs - nothing to do with hostas
> In a message dated 12/22/1999 10:33:33 PM Central Standard Time,
> firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
> << but I just can't resist
> praising my wonderful Border Collie >>
> I have a list of the most intelligent canine breeds---Border Collies are # 1.
> BUT, John, don't they have to have constant tasks to do and attention?
Clia would doubtless be happier if she had work to do at all times, but
she always seems content to wait close to a door for us to come out to
play. In fact, she regularly checks out all the outside doors, and can
invariably be found at the door you are about to open. I truly have
never seen such a controlling instinct in a dog. She is so playful, and
cheerful all the time; really seems intent on cheering you up when you
are down, for whatever reason. Borders are said to be able to control
large herds of sheep etc. merely using just their eyes. I see this in
Clia daily in the looks she gives me. I'm not a person easily
susceptible to guilt trips, but this remarkable little dog regularly
lays one on me. It's really hard to pass her by when she gives you "that
look" that says, "oh loosen up, come play with me, throw me the ball to
fetch". She can almost literally say: "What's the matter with you
anyway, can't you see what a beautiful day this is, lets go for a walk,
and I will make you feel like a million bucks again. I will admit that
it would be a terrible thing to see a Border Collie, like Clia, confined
to a fenced back yard, or subjected to a busy city street, but here in
these wonderful mountains where there are acres and acres of forest and
streams that beckon for her explorations, she's just a joy to behold.
Really the wackiest dog I have ever known. She loves to dig crayfish out
of the creeks, moles out of everywhere, loves to chase flocks of little
birds just gone to roost in a thicket (she knows the exact time of day
to do this, too), send rabbits scuttling across the yard for their very
lives (only caught one that I know of, though), dig for hours on end
trying to get a chipmunk out from under a huge bolder in the woods, or
out from the center of a brush pile, or terrorize woodchucks during
their late evening meanderings. The most spectacular sight of all,
however, is to watch the chase up the steep side of the mountain behind
our house as she dutifully drives 3 or 4 deer to wherever she thinks
they should be. Clia has developed the strange (to me) trait of never,
ever crossing our property lines along the roads on the front or side
unless we are going for a walk. She just simply will not do it. There's
a large German Shepherd that lives across the road much higher up the
ridge than we are, and Clia often races to that corner of the property
and forcefully tells the Shepherd to "stay home", which that dog has now
learned to do, rather than wander over here and start a fight, which she
has on several occasions. Clia appears to be a very spatially oriented
dog, exploring every minute inch of our 5 acres, but I have never known
her to venture off the property, except in the aforementioned deer
chases; these she simply cannot resist. I think it's because the look
like an animal to her that she's was born to herd. Of course, she can't
get anywhere near them, but that never seems to matter to her at all.
Would really be a hard one for us if something happened to her, because
in the two years of her life she has managed to become the focal point
of the whole place.
Once when she made a mess of a beautiful hosta bed trying remove a pesky
mole, scattering dirt, hostas, mulch and everything else along a stone
path and onto the front porch, Laura (wife) got really upset with her,
and called for me to "just look at what YOUR dog has done to those
hostas". My only reply was: Clia stays. Now that's really going some for
me, because I am the most utterly stricken hosta fanatic in the
universe, but Clia has taken precedence over hostas.
Here is a quote I got out of an eMail a while back called Dog Wisdom.
Clia exhibits all these characteristics, and truly does have the ability
to teach them to humans. You just seem to feel good with her around. Her
strangest antic is to occasionally jump up on the garage roof (it's only
4' off the ground on upper side on the ridge cut) and race up to the
very peak of the roof ridge and bark at the UPS truck, or Propane
delivery truck. Both of these guys are amazed at this, and have now
started bringing her a dog biscuit when they come. I guess she now has
them under her control somewhat. She greets everybody with the utmost enthusiasm.
Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
Let others know when they've invaded your territory.
Take naps and stretch before rising.
Run, romp and play daily.
Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.
Never pretend to be something you're not.
If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle
Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
On hot days, drink lots of water and lay under a shady tree.
When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
No matter how often you're scolded, don't buy into the guilt thing and
pout...run right back and make friends.
Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
Won't clutter the air with any more dog banter, but Clia is the very
essence of Cheerfulness and Joy, and I wish I could share her with you
all. I know your days would be brighter, and your burdens would be
lighter. Mine certainly have been, because of her, and after all, she
will protect your hostas from just about everything I know of.
> Clyde Crockett z5
MissVitro Plant Tissue Culture Laboratory
John and Laura Lanier
Route 9 Box 908
Burnsville, NC 28714
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