Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Dogs who love too much
Oliver toddles along behind me as we head up the pasture. Since I have two dogs who think coyote and alpaca poops are excellent doggy treats, I am carrying a bucket and pooper scooper and doing my level best to reach the droppings before the dogs.
One of the poop eaters is Oliver, so I don’t mind that he lags well behind. But since Oliver adores me, he doesn't like being more than a few feet away from me.
Unfortunately the other poop eater is Sadie – Sadie the Speedball, who barrels down the path hell-bent on reaching those tasty morsels before I do! And that means that sometimes poor Oliver gets lost in the dust.
And that’s what happened tonight.
Now you need to understand something about the 1994 Sheltie – he is very fuel efficient. Why expend energy going around an obstacle if the object of your affection is in a direct line on the other side of said obstacle?
And so, as I traipse back and forth across the pasture looking for ‘paca poop and coyote ca-ca, Sir Oliver keeps trying to take shortcuts in order to catch up to me. First it is a log lying in his path – a log as tall as he and 20 feet long. As I scoop the poop, I can see two little sable ears moving parallel to the log. As the ears reach the halfway mark, a little head pops up and Oliver registers that I am just 10 feet away from him, but on the other side of the log. Instead of quickly running around the log to join me, he begins his dog-on-a-trampoline impression. Boing. Boing. Boing. And suddenly he is high centred on top of the log, front legs dangling on one side, back legs dangling on the other.
But he’s a determined little guy, and he wiggles and thrashes and eventually makes it over, trotting up to me, tail jauntily waving behind him. We continue on up the hill, where I again wander off the path in search of excrement. And my furry little trooper tries to follow me once again.
And that is when he meets his nemesis – blackberry brambles.
I have just scooped the last pile of dung and I’m heading back to the path when I see Oliver once again try to reach me via the most expedient route. Only this time he heads right into a patch of blackberry brambles as if it doesn’t even register with him that there is anything but air between us. He has eyes only for me. Within seconds the brambles have grabbed him by the fluff, and he is twisting and turning to escape his evil captors.
I drop my bucket and scooper and race back to rescue him, but by then he is in near panic mode and thoroughly entangled in the prickly tentacles. I grab him and lift him before he can become more entrapped and then I begin the tortuous process of unwinding and untangling the painfully prickly cables of steel from his furry little self.
He should be thankful his coat is as thick as it is, because I don’t think he got a single thorn embedded in his skin. The same cannot be said, however, for my poor hands and arms. But I guess that is the penalty one pays for being the object of a dog’s affection.
Sadie, of course, had no complaints. She’s an opportunist from way back and quickly found the object of her affection -- while I was busy freeing Oliver, she was busy wolfing down the contents of the poop pail. No kisses for you tonight, Lady Sadie!