Saturday, September 29, 2007

Herding Dogs

Oskar (brown) and Ulani (gray) are Briards, that is to say French sheepdogs. (Which is not to be confused with "friendship dogs", though if you say it quickly it sounds that way!) We do not, however, keep sheep.

So they have found their own solution.

Each morning the cats -- Abe, Luke and Bodhi -- get a few moments out on the porch before breakfast. This is a relatively new addition to their busy lifestyle. As such, they are fairly cautious about where they go. But not always enough so for me.

Enter Ulani.

Now if one of the cat-boys wanders out into the yard, perhaps trying to investigate the barn, just for example, I simply say "Ulani, bring the cat!" and she races out to herd the cat back to the house. Oskar balances her on the retrieve, going left to her right or right to her left to keep the cat in line.

Without the command, the dogs stay on alert near the porch. They do not herd the cats until asked to do so. But once permission comes down, an absolute serious glee attends the task. After all, herding is a job, and a dog with a job is a happy dog.


Melissa said...

Especially when herding those smart-ass cats!

Anonymous said...

Oh so good to finally be able to see what these dogs look like. BTW, they just opened an awesome dog park on 400N at Creek Ridge in Michigan City. Roxie really loved in there on Saturday.