12th October 2007
Jean is on heat and this place has turned into a circus.
We haven’t seen Pep for two days. He has taken up residence next to Jean’s lock-up and as far as we know has not taken food nor drink in that time. Clyde has turned into a monster called “Harry Hormone” and barks continuously while on the chain, and growls continuously at Pep when off the chain. Bo is still a bit too immature to appreciate the finer points of it all and Wag is just biding his time.
Bonnie is making the most of the situation. Being the only dog that we can safely release, she has been coming fencing and following the tractor as well as working on her ambitions to become a house dog. She has Brian wrapped around her finger and greases to him at every opportunity.
Prior to the circus, Pep was enjoying retirement with a lot of sleeping and prancing around tied up huntaways. He has been asking Wag for a hiding for about three years now and a few weeks ago Wag finally obliged and gave him a good scruffing. Pep had a couple of puncture wounds to the face but I think the main injury was to his pride, and the realisation that maybe he wasn’t top dog anymore. After a few days sulking he was fine.
Also prior to the circus, back when Harry was Clyde, I was out in the paddock on the bike with Bo, Bonnie and Clyde when we came around the corner to see the resident Big Daddy Emu and his chicks. Well, the three dogs took off after the emu who turned around and bailed them all up. They headed back to me at a gallop with the emu in hot pursuit. I was having a good old laugh until Big Daddy saw me and then there were three dogs and a girl on a bike tearing across the paddock with an emu in hot pursuit.
Last month, Bo and I went to a dog and stock handling school here at Coolatai. There were about a dozen people with their kelpies and collies. On day one, everyone was laughing at my big, boofy huntaway pup – but then he barked and they all took notice. Bo had never seen sheep before and the first time he went into the round yard he was more interested in the funny looking kelpies and collies on the outside than the sheep which were on the inside. That proved a bit embarrassing and the handler was having trouble getting Bo to pay any attention to the sheep. I asked if it would help if I made him bark. The handler said “yes”, I said “ruff” and all of a sudden we had an interested huntaway.
Day two of the dog school was a whole lot different. I think Bo spent Saturday night studying his books (Brian and I spent it at the pub) for on Sunday he was barking and moving those sheep around the holding yard and in the shed – almost like a pro. Since then he has become a bit of a celebrity in Coolatai, with many people commenting on his size and the improvement he made over night. Brian thinks Bo has the potential to be a better working dog than Wag or Jean, and I think is a little bit jealous.
Wag, however remains our pin-up boy with his handsome features. I sent a photo of him in to Outback magazine, quite sure he would win us $100 prizemoney, but he was pipped by a collie I met at the dog school.