Thursday, October 21, 2010

Cat and Dog --- Friends?

Is the cat okay? Yes.

Harry the Dog is now only allowed in the entryway --- and that --- only occasionally. Soapy, one of our two cats, seeks him out when he comes in. Maybe Soapy's not quite right in the head? (This is the orphan kitten that was reared (nursed) by a dog.)

Soapy never panics --- which may have saved his life more than once. Harry the Dog is a Newfoundland cross Pit Bull Terrier --- he seems to like the cat well enough, but he's a bit challenged in the affection department.

Peaches the Pony Escapes from Horns of the Ox

In Northwestern Minnesota our Autumn is often a very brief period between Summer and Winter --- sometimes measured in days or weeks. Today is one of those glorious days! The leaves are in full color and the weather is splendid. I have decided to include Peaches the Pony on a walk with Harry the Dog, Scout the Ox, and myself.

Peaches is looking for an opportunity for escape --- that's why she usually gets left at home in the pasture. Last time she had a moment of liberty it took me three weeks to find her. So today, I keep her on her lead rope.

My experience with horses has often been that they are looking for an opportunity to pull a fast one. Like Gracie, a retired cow-pony we rode in Texas when we were kids; she liked to take us under a low hanging branch and scrape us off her back. Or Ichabod, who saw his opportunity when I was sitting side saddle while watching my sheep graze on open range; he dumped me off and headed for greener pastures --- wearing my boss's wife's show saddle and bridle. A number of other horses I've ridden have left me feeling they would just as soon throw me over their head as take me for a ride; there was always that battle of wills, mine verses there's.  I came to prefer walking, with a dog at my side, while herding sheep --- dogs were generally eager to be part of the team.

Scout the Ox (my pet steer) seems to fall more into the camp of "man's best friend" than most horses ( I have known a few good horses). He's a friend first. If he thinks he's been left behind he lets out a bellow and comes running.

So here we are, in the video below, walking in the woods, enjoying the fine Autumn evening. I'm leading Peaches the Pony when a playful Scout the Ox turns and bluffs the pony with his horns

She pulls her lead-rope from my hand; now she realizes she's free; she sees her opportunity! So off she goes with me,Scout the Ox, and Harry the Dog in chase --- and is she ever having fun with me! We crash through the brush, gallop across someones lawn, and she humiliates me in front of some passers by on the township road as I repeatedly dive for her rope. But, a mile from where we started this wild goose chase, her unfailing appetite is her downfall. She wanders into a bean field and begins nibbling soybeans; her guard is down just long enough that I am able to catch hold of her rope. She gallops in circles while Scout the Ox makes false lunges at her with his horns, as if to scold her.  Harry the Dog bounces around in the middle of the fray, clearly enjoying the excitement.

When the fun wears off and things calm down I tie the penitent Peaches to Scout's collar and we head for home.