TIPPY OR LASSIE?

 

Tippy and I took a walk in the neighbor’s field around lunch.  Usually she stays pretty close, but today, she disappeared after we got to our turn-around point.  Since no roads are close, I don’t worry about her, knowing that she will be back soon, if she hasn’t taken a short cut and beaten me back to the house, which is usually the case.  Today, when I got back, she was nowhere to be found.  I was doing my stretches when I saw her at the gate.  She likes to pretend that she can’t get under the barbed wire so I’ll come open it for her.  If I don’t, she has a place a little further down the fence row that is higher she’ll use as her access and egress point.

She came to see me, but went right back.  All afternoon when I would go outside to check on her, I would call and she’d come from the field.  Her feet would be covered in mud, I’d rinse them off, she’d come in the house for a few minutes, she’d want out, I’d let her out, she’d come back with muddy feet, I’d rinse, she’d come in the house, she’d want out……  This was very unusual behavior, so after the 3rd or 4th time, I decided to follow her and see where she was going.  She waited on me while I opened the gate and got through.  I said, “Show me where you have been going.” and off she bounded down the hill.  I followed her and this is what I found.

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Cow and her newborn.

Tippy just walked calmly down to where they were, sniffed around a little, and came back to me to sit and watch for a few minutes.  The calf was up when I first saw it and was rubbing against the mom’s neck.  I thought maybe something had happened and the cow couldn’t get up, so I got closer.  Usually cows are very protective of their calves, but she didn’t move or make a sound.  While she looked healthy, I was still concerned, so I called the neighbor to let him know that he might want to check on them, but he wasn’t home and I had to leave a message.

This would be a great “Lassie” story, if they had needed help. Fortunately, however, when we went back to check on them the cow was up on her feet.  We went one more time and the calf was having it’s dinner.

So, all is well in bovine land.  Tippy, however, is still whining to go see them again.

 

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THE AMAZING NOSE

About 3 weeks ago, I went out to check on Tippy and she had a dead squirrel she was playing with.  It looked petrified, so I have no idea where she found it.  Since it wasn’t smelly and she wasn’t getting “nasty” playing with it, I left it alone.  However, after she came in for the night, I went out and threw it down the hill, hoping that would be the end of that toy.  Of course, the next day, she found the thing and it was right back in the yard.

I went on vacation last week and left Tippy with her dog behaviorist.  One of the first things I did after she picked Tippy up was to get the poor dead animal and throw it down the hill, further away from the house.  Unfortunately, it hit a tree, so didn’t go as far down the hill as I wanted, but it was far enough away from the house that I hoped some critter would find it and get rid of it for me while we were gone.

The first morning I was home and had Tippy back, she wanted to go outside right after she ate.  Within 5 minutes, I heard her bounding onto the front porch.  I went to the door, looked out, and this is what greeted me.

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Tippy and the petrified, frozen squirrel.

I was surprised that she found it, since it is not only petrified, but frozen solid too!  The dogs sense of smell amazes me!

If you are interested, I found this blog post that is an excellent article on the canine sense of smell.   Who knew that search and rescue dogs have found a drowning victim in 80+ feet of water?!  Kind of makes finding a frozen squirrel sound like child’s, or puppy’s, play, doesn’t it?

 

 

 

 

FUN, BUT DIRTY

I am fortunate to live in a very rural area where I can leave Tippy off leash when I am home and have a large area where I can take her for walks.  Most days, I will take her into my neighbor’s field for about a mile “nature hike.”  I walk and she runs.  To me, it usually looks like the same walk, but it is always a new adventure for Tippy.  She has her nose to the ground, smelling the scents from all of the different animal that passed since the last time we were there.  Sometimes, if we are lucky, we will spy deer or wild turkeys to chase.

There is a pond just over the hill from our house that she likes to stop at to get a drink at the end of her run.

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On a normal day, she will only get in the edge, with her front paws, and lap.  As you can see, today, she decided to venture out a bit further.  This is a pond for the neighbor’s cows.  If you have ever lived on a farm, you know this means that the mud around the edges isn’t just mud.  It is a conglomeration of mud, cow patties, and pee.  It’s not real pretty and stinks to high heaven.

So, on days that she ventures out into the pond, it is not just her paws that need to be cleaned before she can come into the house.

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Fortunately, it was a warm day, so I gave her a bath outside.  The air was warm, but the water wasn’t.  She did okay, except for when I rinsed her backside.  I guess none of us like the feeling of cold water “back there.”