Tag: Collies

Killer Instinct

Don’t let the innocent faces confuse you. These are the faces of killers.

On the left, Dory a 2 year old collie.  On the left, Mork, an almost 8 year old Collie

Three chickens in three days!

When we came home Friday evening, we closed the chickens in and tried to do a headcount, but as they are literally a moving target, I didn’t worry too much for absolute accuracy. I was aiming to be sure I hadn’t locked half the flock outside.

It was as I was backing out of the driveway headed to my house that I saw the brown lump out of the corner of my eye. Yup, a dead chicken in the middle of my Mother-in-law’s front yard. I sent the kids home and instructed them to call both dogs in. I’ll admit it, my city kid roots showed through as stood there wondering “what the hell am I supposed to do with a chicken carcass?” I called some of my experts but no one was available, so I just left it knowing A-man would be home soon.

As for what killed it, the dogs were barking their heads off when I pulled in (something I’ve become remarkably adept at blocking out). So my theory at the time was they had scared a predator off, but it was too late for the chicken. Heh, innocence is bliss ain’t it?

Saturday, I was at a karate tournament and A-man was in the barn working on a chicken door for the pen. A chicken door in the pen would allow us to leave scraps for the chickens without the fear that the dogs would nosh and make themselves ill.

Sunday we were all set to tackle some nagging chores. When we heard the dogs screeching and growling outside the back door. As I rounded the corner on the deck, I saw the telltale black and white feathers. As I texted to the other co-owners “We forcibly expressed our displeasure with their behavior.” Then we put them inside and A-man went in search of electrified poultry fencing.

!%$#@!!! Dogs!!! I can hear the critics nodding their heads saying “Ay yut, coulda told ‘ja that’d happen”. I know it is instinct, but they are herding dogs. Can’t they just herd the chickens? Everybody gets a little exercise, no one gets hurt right? Yeah not so much.

We spend the afternoon installing the chicken fence. Chicken fence that is meant to be installed on flat land when we live on anything but flat land. We finally got it all set up and let the birds out to “play”. They seemed to figure out pretty quickly, not to touch it. I went home to let the dogs out and in search of caffeine. A few minutes later, I heard A-man yelling. A-man doesn’t yell. He is not easily ruffled. As I bolted down the trail between the two houses, Mork, the older of the two dogs, met me half way. I grabbed his collar and dragged him back. Seems he plowed right through the fence and snagged another chicken without even batting an eye. I guess our previous expression of our displeasure didn’t settle in. Like I said !%$#@!!! Dogs!!!

For the short term, we’re on a rotating schedule. If the chickens are out, the dogs are in and vice versa.

!%$#@!!! Dogs!!!

For those who are counting, between this incident and the three we lost last weekend, we’re down to 20 birds.

Dory Dog

Well, she’s been with us a year and two months and she is FINALLY showing signs of calming down.

She was a year old in May, so she still has a lot of puppy left in her, but brief moments of calm are starting to show through. THANK GOODNESS!!

A snap shot of Dory asleep on the front porch, as seen through the window on the door.

Daisy Dog

Daisy Dog

June 14, 1998 – February 17, 2010

We didn’t pick her, she picked us.
My husband always had dogs growing up.  I always wanted a dog. We got a cat not long after we were married and finally in 1998, we owned a house and had the space and schedule for a dog.  I would have taken a mutt from the pound, but A-Man had always had collies, so we located a breeder and went to see the puppies she had one fall weekend. The outside kennel was chaos.  There were dogs every where.  All very excited to see people.  We met many dogs that day, but one, a butterscotch colored female came over, and sniffed A-Man and then basically tried to sit on his head.  She was loving and affectionate from the get go.  She was ours, and we named her Daisy.
As I recall, her puppyhood was marked by ups and downs.  House breaking her wasn’t fun, but it wasn’t brutal either.  She was four months old by the time we brought her home, so I think that made it easier.  She chewed a pair of my sunglasses and I thought she ate a pack of my sewing needles. Turns out she had just nibbled the plastic. She took to a crate easily.  One night, my husband and I were watching TV and heard the door to the crate close.  She’d put herself to bed.
The cat had long since claimed the role of Queen and Daisy fell in line with the pecking order.  Even when the kids came, she adjusted fairly easily.  She learned to give toddlers a wide berth and later she would learn about the unwavering affection of older kids.
Daisy loved to go on long walks through the neighborhood.  She was friendly, gentle and loved people.  We had to abandon teaching her to give us a paw because when she raised her paw, she’d knock over the little kids trying to show off. Most of our neighbors loved her.  Danny the mailman brought her a little biscuit everyday and would stop to talk with her and pet her. Neighborhood kids would stop by to chat and pet her regularly.
She didn’t like riding in the car (she’d get sick) and she developed a passionate dislike for anything with a gasoline engine. Our lot was triangle shaped and she spent much of her day outside in a kennel that had road on either side.  She would have a fit every time a school bus or garbage truck drove past. She had that long collie nose that would sometimes get her into trouble and she had an uncanny knack for lying right where I needed to walk.
She wasn’t crazy about being outside at night.  She’d howl. We did our best to keep her in after dark, but by then we had our daughter and sometimes it couldn’t be helped.  One night, we came home and she was gone, her kennel door wide open.  She was located the next day, two towns away.  We could never prove it, but we’re pretty sure a neighbor took her for a ride and let her go.  After that, we locked her kennel and had her microchipped.  Now that I think about it, that was the about the time we started talking about moving North.
Daisy was thrilled when we moved to New Hampshire.  She had the run of two four plus acre lots and by then, my mother-in-law had adopted one of her distant cousins. Daisy was in her glories.
She was pretty good about staying close to home, but a few times, the wind blew something across that nose and she just had to follow it. It was thanks to Daisy that we met some of our new neighbors.  She once spent an entire day at a neighbors house playing with her dog and 3 kids.
The was never a doubt, Daisy was A-man’s dog.  As a puppy, she’d join him on the couch when he watched TV.  Later, she claimed her spot on the floor in front of the couch. She was right there when A-man sat down and took his shoes off.  She knew her loves were coming next.
In the new house, her dog bed (an oversized stuffed dog), was at the end of our bed and in her younger years, she’d come upstairs after us and lay down.  She’d let out a big sigh like she was deflating and if A-Man and I talked too long or laughed too loud, she’d groan like we were disturbing her.
Eventually, her hips and knees started to give her trouble and she slept on the first floor. Age was taking its toll, but she was still her loving, easy going self.
Last night, she woke my husband up whining from the first floor.  He let her out and she didn’t come right back. When he found her, she was clearly having a hard time breathing and in distress.  We called the local emergency clinic and made arrangements to bring her in.  We debated waking the kids.  Poor Daisy was in rough shape and we knew what measures we were willing to take. Things weren’t looking good.  Ultimately we woke Fish and had her say her goodbyes.
The initial exam showed a tumor on her spleen and the possibility of bloat (when the stomach turns upside down). Regardless poor Daisy was facing major surgery.  There were doubts as to whether she would even make it through the surgery, so we made the difficult decision to euthanize her.
You know when you bring a dog into your life, chances are good you will out live her, but still it is sad when they go.
Singer/Songwriter Scott Kirby says four good dogs are all you can count on in life.  Daisy was one of our four.
Rest in Peace Daisy Dog thanks for all the loves and the groans. We’ll be sure to look out for trucks!