Monday, May 13, 2013

Scout the Ox Helping Prepare Tree Cuttings --- Herd-Mates?

What cattle do when they are not eating is hang-out together. When I have a portable project to work on I use the opportunity to give Scout the Ox some "herd" time.  It helps makes for a happy ox. Here I'm preparing willow tree cuttings for planting, with Scout looking over my shoulder.

Just as dogs are pack animals, cattle are herd animals. A healthy dog and a healthy cow both like a small circle of family and friends. When we people, by the use of fences, barns and kennels, take that away from them, I think it our due to provide some substitute. Scout's herd mates consist of me and Harry the Dog. As unlikely as two predators keeping company with a prey animal is, by my estimation, he seems quite happy with the arrangement. As a qualifier, I might add that these are two highly domesticated animals, I wouldn't expect this to work with say  --- a wolf and a white tailed deer, though, I am aware of  dogs being kept with lions. A further qualifier: I don't favor wild animals being kept
Good Friends-Lion and Dog
published 1893
Paul Friedrich Meyerheim, artist   and     Richard Brend'amour, engraver
Source: Mid-Manhattan Picture Collection