Dogs as tools

I learned through trial and error how to use Gel and now Fern as tools to get done what I needed to get done with the stock.  Except for what he’s done with me, Wally has not used a dog much to move stock, but now he always wonders how people manage stock without a dog.  It was sort of funny watching him Monday night as he went out to put up the chickens and ducks.  He brought Gel in with him and as they got into the pasture, Gel stopped to finish up the bowl of milk that I had given to the chickens and ducks that evening.  Wally kept on walking towards the house and started to put up the poultry on his own.  Gel kept drinking the milk.  I got up and yelled out the door asking him if maybe it would be easier if he used the dog to put up the poultry and it was at that point that he realized that Gel wasn’t where he should be and put him in action.  Everyone was put up in a few minutes.

If it were me going in there, I likely wouldn’t have gone much past the gate: I would have sent Gel in telling him to put up the ducks.  The adult chickens go up on their own as soon as it gets dark; the ducks and now the chicks have to be put up.  The ducks flock and move off the dog quite well; usually as soon as a dog enters the pasture when it’s dark, they go up on their own.  The chicks are another story; they go every which way but where you want them to.  While we might have been able to put the ducks up without the dog, it would be close to impossible to get the chicks up.

Last night Wally went out and Fern put herself first in line to put up the poultry and he let her do the work.  Unfortunately, Fern doesn’t have power steering (meaning she doesn’t know her flanks; must teach Fern her flanks one day), but she gets the job done, just not as quickly as Gel can.

Oh, and life is good, very, very good.  Last night Adam Lambert sang Mad World again.  I was so glad he sang that song over one of the others he sang during the season.  He has to be one of the best performers ever seen on American Idol.  This week the So You Think You can Dance competition starts and today I start to get DVDs from Season One of the HBO True Blood series.  Wonder how I’m going to be able to get anything done over the next few weeks.  Another HBO series that Wally and I have enjoyed is Carnivàle.  We still have some DVDs from Season Two left to watch.  Talk about a twisted story line, if you get a chance, watch a few episodes and see if you don’t get hooked.

Well, here it is almost 1 PM and I haven’t got much of anything done today.  Most of the morning was shot because I took Wally’s mother and her husband to the eye doctor for an appointment which ended up lasting almost two hours.  Guess I had better go and get something done so the day isn’t entirely shot.

Until later …