Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Life on The Farm 052311: Keeler

BB, DJ (I think?), Maggie, and there's Keeler under the truck.
There’s usually a dog or two running about the farm.  Some days there are more than one would consider normal outside of a painted-on-velvet poker game. Most are the same size and color – let’s call them black-labby.

But, there’s one pooch that stands out from the rest. She belongs to our herdsperson and is a very energetic, well-trained border collie named Keeler.  I’m assuming much to think she’s named after storyteller, Garrison Keillor (but, probably not.)

She’s plays fetch like nobody’s business, and is lightning quick, especially on the turn and duck.

At first, she would run up to greet me as she does everyone else, and I would give her a “good doggy-dog”, and pat her head.

She's there, in the driveway.
After a time, Keeler would see my truck, run to it, notice it was me - and then, visibly sigh - lower her head and ears, and return back the way she came.

I was seriously depressing this dog, and becoming equally disturbed – how could I be making a happy fluffy creature sad just by showing up?

Slinking Away
Whenever I throw a stick for her to fetch she walks off with it – taking it away from me, essentially.  She never, ever does that with my husband, Dan – or anyone else.

Done with me.
In the self-interest of getting on her good side, I thought I’d extend the proverbial olive branch, and buy some dog biscuits – healthy, holistic, happy-puppy snacks – not made from wheat, either, because I didn’t want an outbreak of hives on my part to strain the relationship even further.

So, there I was, at the checkout at O. C. McCuin’s store, and the giant black lab ‘store dog’ heard the crunch of the treats bag.  He sat straight up like a good boy and threw hangdog eyes. So cute! I gave him a cookie. 

My “cunning plan” should work perfectly at getting Keeler to like me as well (rubs hands together and grins at the supreme cleverness of it all).

This morning, I drove to the farm, grabbed a doggie treat from the back seat, and exited the pickup truck.

Keeler saw me and wouldn’t come any closer. 

I called her name. 

No response.

After a second, she shrugged her shoulders, put her head down, and shuffled away.   More like Eeyore the donkey, than a woman’s best friend.

I held out the cookie and sweet-talked, “Cookie, cookie, cookie for you.” 


She slinked a few steps toward me, all mopey-like, looking around as though I was talking to someone else – then gave a weak tail wag or two, and stopped. 

I really didn’t have the energy to channel up a dog-whisperer so early in the day; I walked the last few steps - and put the cookie directly in her mouth. 

She didn’t trust me enough to take what was offered, though she did eat it after I was well out of sight, indoors.

We have met each other halfway.  Which I’m told, in therapy, indicates progress.

***5:00 a.m. the following morning, I drove over her frisbee by accident and broke it! Doh!!!