By Sigrid Settle
I was browsing through the internet when I found my way to Wikipedia and started reading their description of the Australian Cattle Dog aka Queensland heeler to see what they had to say about my faithful companion Spirit. The site stated it’s a breed of herding dog originally developed in Australia for driving cattle over long distances and across rough terrain. Australian Cattle Dogs form a strong attachment to their owners, and can be protective of them; as well as having a high level of energy, a quick intelligence and an independent streak. At the independent streak I stopped reading and looked down at my companion who lay at my feet oblivious to the information on Wikipedia and having proved to possess a rather large streak of independence during the last downpour of rain we had experienced in Oracle.
The day had started off with a heavy covering of clouds and the smell of rain in the air, but with an optimistic attitude I decided to head off to the post office and recycling center with the absolute certainty I would be ahead of the rainstorm brewing above my head. Spirit sat beside me in the car as we drove up to the gate, her head leaning out the window sniffing excitedly at the scents that would pass before her nose and be captured in her nostrils. The joy was only momentary, as I had to close her window because of the rain droplets that began entering the interior of the car. She looked at me as if to express her dissatisfaction at being cut off from the environment she enjoyed with such relish.
When we arrived at the post office the rain was falling at a steady rate and by the time we dropped off the recycling items the rain began to come down so heavily the windshield wipers were having trouble keeping ahead of the rain. I raced home and as I got across the wash I decided to drop Spirit off by the back door so she wouldn’t get as wet coming into the house with the hopes I’d avoid water puddles on the floor. When I raced up the back door steps I became soaked with rain from head to foot, but I turned around to Spirit and called for her to come into the house. She sat in the car looking at me as if I’d gone half mad asking her to step out of the car. I called her again and there was that look, the same one she had given me when I closed the window and cut off access to her beloved environment; somehow her beloved environment was not as appealing now. I called her a third time, but she still had that look of determination that the car was her best option. Just as I was walking down the steps to pull her out manually she leaped from the car, raced up the back steps and entered the house with barely a drop on her. As I entered the house large puddles of water formed around my feet and a line of water followed me all the way to my bedroom where warm, dry clothes awaited my shivering body.
Yes Wikipedia, Australian Cattle dogs do form strong attachments and are very protective, that is unless there is a heavy rainstorm and they have other, more intelligent choices to make; leaving me to wonder sometimes who is the more intelligent species.
And so it goes at the Ranch…
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