Part I: The Chicken Chase
Do you see it?
That is most certainly chicken crap.
Take a moment to gasp in disgust. It’s alright. I’m right there with you.
That chicken crap is evidence of a very exciting Thursday.
I have 2 short days a week, usually Tuesday and Thursday. I got off and came home for lunch. I let Katie out. When we go to the backyard, there was chicken standing there, about two feet in front of the gate to the chicken area.
If you know me, you probably know that I am absolutely, positively terrified and totally grossed out by birds. They are fine if they’re over there, but I DEFINITELY don’t want them over here. EVER.
I spend my time pretending we don’t have chickens. I don’t think about them. I don’t hear them. I don’t look at them. I walk right past their chicken area and pretend they aren’t behind the gate.
When I saw the chicken I let out a little yelp. Katie, my 14-pound guard dog, ran after it. The chicken returned immediately into the chicken area and Katie knew better than to follow it. I texted the landlord and he assured me that his son would close the gate soon, because I was too panicked to get anywhere near the chicken area. I didn’t even know how many were in there for goodness sake.
I left the house about an hour later to pick up S and run some errands. We came home and let the dog out.
All the chickens were standing in the yard.
Katie ran at them again. But this time, they scattered.
Those nasty birds took off squawking in all different directions. Katie took care of her business and came trotting back over to me. She looked at me like, ‘Hey did you see me? I scared those birds off for you.’
Great job, Katie.
I took the dog back in and S and I had to chase chickens.
We ran up the yard. We ran down the yard. We ran in circles. We ran in lines. We ran together. We ran separately. S ran all the way around the neighbor’s house. We poked sticks at chickens hiding in the brush.
I’m sure my blood pressure was through the roof.
It took us almost an hour to get a half-dozen chickens back into the chicken area.
Apparently the gate was not latched after all.
(Two of the chickens in the chicken area:)
Part II: The Cutest Dog on the Planet
Katie has come to enjoy gardening more and more. At first, she got bored pretty quickly and waiting for us to finish. Now, she wants to help.
(Katie still hasn’t mastered the art of ‘selfies’; Katie helping S thin out the broccoli; Katie very concerned with broccoli thinning; Katie taking a broccoli brake to sit as close as she can without being in my lap)
Katie is a funny little dog. She’s my baby, and she doesn’t really care to listen to anyone else.
She has spent most of her life in the countryside of Texas. She shared her backyard with numerous cats, goats, cows, other dogs, and a donkey. She isn’t so used to roads.
S has not dealt with inside dogs before. He has never trained an animal.
They are getting along much better now, S and Katie. Katie has certainly become attached to S, and he might sorta, kinda like her a little bit himself.
But she still doesn’t listen too well.
I control Katie with the pitch of my voice and my facial expressions. (Did you know that dogs are the smartest animals when it comes to interpreting human facial expressions?) When she’s done something wrong, all I have to do is use a low voice and a mad face. She cowers. She doesn’t need to be beat or punished. She knows. When she’s done well, I talk in a high pitched voice (sometimes annoyingly so, I’ll admit it), and smile. She wags her tail and gets excited.
S let her out the other day, and the neighbors across the street were moving a couch into their house. (I wasn’t home, I just heard the story.) Apparently, Katie took off running across the street and got under their feet before S had a chance to really see the danger.
I’m so, so glad there were no cars coming!
Since then, S has made more of an effort to form a relationship with Katie so that she listens to him. She’s starting to learn there are boundaries and consequences, and she wants to please him.
No more running into the street!