another reason it’s good to be home

Despite the enjoyment of traveling in the west, there are a number of good things about being back home. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how nice it is to be cooking in my own kitchen once more. It’s also great to be back wandering around the farm with Sabrina a couple of times a day.

When I first arrived home, she was visibly angry at me. She persistently ignored me for about a day, turning all of her attention to Don. It was like being given the silent treatment as she’d not look at me and entirely ignored my call. However, she was unable to hold a grudge for long. We were soon back to our walks in the fields and woods.

Most of the time, I leave the choice of trails up to Sabrina. She walks ahead of me, pausing to wait when she sees that I’m shooting photos. Sometimes, if I’m taking a little too long, she’ll come back up the path and stand watching me. If she could tap her toes, I think that’s what she’d be doing. If Don is with us, she’ll go to him and then look at me and back at him as she gives him the “Can’t you do something about her?” signal.

That said, Sabrina can’t really mind the photography too much. She frequently finds and points out the kind of thing that I would like to photograph — a butterfly, a snake, or even some millipedes. When she has located something of interest, she stands next to it, glancing from it to me a couple of times to let me know there’s something I need to look at. I suppose there are other possible explanations for this behaviour, but I suspect she’s doing her version of “pointing” like a hunting dog. A couple of years ago, she found a young Common Snipe (see below – click on image for larger view) while we were out for a spring walk. She stood quietly next to it, looking from me to the ground a few times as I walked up the trail to see what she’d found. At first, I couldn’t see what she was looking at — so well camouflaged was the snipe — but then I realized that the bird was crouched just inches away. I shot a quick photo and we departed. Oddly enough, Sabrina checks that exact spot almost every time we pass along that path.

Yesterday, she stopped at the fork in the trail, looked to the west and sniffed a couple of times, then took the “short cut” trail leading to the east and back home. Most days, she’d have chosen the longer route so that she could spend the most time outdoors. I could see a rain cloud approaching, and my guess is that she smelled rain on the wind and decided to head for home before the storm — she’s not much for getting wet if she can help it. We arrived at the door of the house just as the rain began pelting down.

It’s good to be home and back on the trails — with Sabrina.

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6 Responses to “another reason it’s good to be home”

  1. Mark Says:

    Nice post. I like dogs and I like walks and I like the interaction between the walker and the dog.

  2. Wayne Says:

    Animal companions are just great, and continually surprise. I sometimes feel a little guilty that I generally prefer their company to that of others of my own species.

    I’ve heard cat owners describe in the most anthropomorphic terms their cats’ reactions upon their return after a lengthy absence. Can’t say I’ve ever noticed a reaction, myself.

  3. Pamela Says:

    I recognize the behaviour of checking the spot–my cat spends a lot of her time watching the base of the kitchen cupboards because of the shrew that came out from under there once. But the careful, gentle indicating an interesting find without grabbing–that’s a great nature-walking dog you’ve got there.

  4. burning silo Says:

    Mark – Thanks. Dogs have always been very much a part of our lives here at the farm and I almost can’t imagine what it would be like to go out walking without one for company.

    Wayne – Your cat, Gene, is a simlar walking companion, so you know how enjoyable it is to share an adventure with an animal friend. Maggie, the collie that died about 4 years ago, was my constant companion for a number of years before Sabrina came along. She and I canoed dozens of creeks and rivers here in eastern Ontario over about 10 years. She was probably the ideal canoe buddy — quiet as a mouse and never tippd the canoe even once!

    Pamela – Sabrina is my fourth Rough Collie and they’ve all been such kind and gentle dogs. None of them ever bothered our farm animals or wild animals here at the farm. Oddly enough, we had a Husky-Greyhound for about 12 years when we first came to the farm and she was also a very kind dog (I wouldn’t say Huskies are normally cut out for the role of “herding dogs”). I could leave her on her own in the house with baby goats, lambs or even chicks or ducklings in a low-sided box and she’d never touch anything (sometimes we used to bring weak new kids or lambs indoors to bottle feed and raise for a few days in very cold weather). She loved playing with the kids when we’d let them out of the box to run around for some exercise after they had their feeding. I posted this piece about her back in February, complete with a photo of her playing with a young kid. She would always lie down when playing with young kids so that they would be at the same eye level. Maybe all of our dogs have turned out as they did because of the way we’ve raised them, although I do believe the Rough Collies are, in general, very gentle dogs.

  5. LauraH Says:

    Not sure what is more surprising, that Sabrina or the snipe stayed put!

  6. robin andrea Says:

    Our cat ignores us a bit after we’ve taken a trip without him. Although it’s sometimes hard to tell if he’s expressing his usual disdain, or if it has been amplified for the occasion. Lovely snipe photo.