Saturday, November 03, 2007

The Yellow Dog is Getting Jealous

I'm not kidding. When we have babies - chicks, kittens, or calves- the Yellow Dog needs extra attention so he doesn't do menacing things to the new arrivals. My son took all these pictures in one short span of time and they show a range of Yellow Dog behaviors - watchful protector, curious nurturer, and finally mischievous maniac. When we fully appreciate the Yellow Dog as we should and make him our first priority he stands guard and seems to watch over his realm.

After we've been away for a couple of hours and drive into the driveway he will emerge from wherever he has been sleeping and bark furiously at some imaginary predator. At first, we didn't realize that the protecting he was doing was of his reputation. Then, I left K at home while I ran a local errand and he reported that the Yellow Dog slept the entire time until my front wheel touched the first piece of gravel in the driveway. At this point, the Yellow Dog rushed across the cattle gap and protected the livestock from nothing.

I honestly believe he intends to be the protector of the farm, but he is really a scaredy-cat who is too curious to be a true watch dog. He approaches every car and animal that travels onto or across the property. He barks at the animals, but from afar, maybe even from the front porch, yet he never pursues them. Every car is a potential carrier of new friends. As soon as they emerge, he smells them and wags his tail. He's never met a stranger he didn't like.

He investigates every new farm arrival by sniffing, licking, and then tormenting. He wants to find out just how far he can push the new animals before they attack him. In the second picture he is kissing the new calf, but in the third he is trying to enter the calf's pen so he can chase and nip which is completely prohibited since the calf is having such a tough beginning. But, he still tries, especially when we are watching.

Did you catch that last bit because it is important? All his mischief occurs when we are near and watching. He has never killed a chicken when we were away. He has never run weanling calves through a fence when we weren't watching. He has never tormented a new calf or kitten when we weren't watching. All these clues lead me to believe he is either a very stupid dog or a very smart one. Is he communicating his dominance over all on the farm, including us? Is he asking for attention? Is he completely devoid of the sense that would lead him to the conclusion that we would like him better if he didn't pick up cats by the head, kill chickens, chase cows through the fence, or torment sick calves? Is he jealous?


ZBTzahBTzoo said...

He has such a handsome profile.

He's just trying to engage you in some fun because he figures if it's fun for him it's fun for you, and he wants to thank you for food and shelter by offering some fun!

I wonder if he can tell a sick chicken from a healthy one? Or a nasty ol' rooster from the best laying hen? Maybe he's trying to help you, not just get a rise out of you.

A lot of dog behaviors truly baffle me. I wish they all spoke English and didn't keep so many secrets. A cat's secrets, I can tolerate; I would like to spend some time inside the mind of my dog.

I'm enjoying your participation in NaMo ... NaBloMo ... what was it called? I'm glad because I get something new to read every day!

ZBTzahBTzoo said...

PS: You named her Gizmo, didn't you? Or Lilly. Or Frank. Sigh...

Frankie said...

Sounds like a jealous doggie to me. He wants you all to himself. I think.

He is beautiful!

Kate in NJ said...

He is handsome, and you can tell him I said so if it helps his behavior

Professor J said...

Sounds like a yellow dog to me. I have one. She's a bit of a coward and she acts up just to get attention, but she is also the sweetest thing I've ever met.