They’re Really Lovers, Not Fighters, Honest!

DSC_9994I need to find a way to harness all this dog energy to power my house. Two border collies, the Amazing Frank, and my own over-anxious, awkward personal dog, Gracie, have turned our home into something of a three-ring circus.

Lucky for us the boys are all super good at coming when they are called, so they can have regular romps outside. This is a video of the craziness…

It’s so entertaining that one of my new favorite activities is to retire to the top of our hillside in the evening with a glass of wine and watch the shenanigans. The only problem is, just like boy children, boy dog play can sometimes graduate to boy dog fights.

Usually this happens when somebody (the “senior” member of these musketeers) gets tired and has had enough. Texas, who has endless energy and can outrun all the others, just never quits, but since he is too speedy for Frank to grab him, Tennessee usually ends up on the bottom of the pile. Unlike Texas and Gracie who will both take their licks and slink away, Tenn hangs in there for a moment too long probably protesting with growls that say, “Hey! That wasn’t me! It was him! He did it! He’s the one you want!” but either Frank is color blind and simply sees an annoying black dog or he enjoys kicking a little Tennessee butt on occasion.DSC_0059

There’s only been one serious incident which resulted in a small cut on Tennessee’s face. It’s one more nick on his sweet face that was already covered with tiny tooth sized injuries when he arrived at our house, so I’m guessing he isn’t a stranger to these scuffles. I tended his wound and chastised Frank and kept them apart for a few days, but finally relented. They really, really, really wanted to play. And up until that point, they’d done well together, wrestling for hours without it breaking into bloody battles. Besides, Texas needed some relief as he was limping from one too many top-speed full-body slams with Frank.

My husband wasn’t fazed. “Dogs fight sometimes, that’s how they work things out.” Maybe.

I know my horses are really tough on each other. The youngest (and largest) turns up with nasty bite marks on a regular basis. I suppose it’s necessary for maintaining the order in the pasture.

Frank treats T&T like little brothers. He indulges them, playing until he’s exhausted. I keep him on the leash when we are on a “business” walk so that T&T can focus. This morning as we walked around the pasture, he didn’t seem to be in the mood for play. Or maybe he is finally getting the idea of “heeling” as we’ve been working on leash training.

Frank batting away the pesky fly Texas
Frank batting away the pesky fly Texas

Texas kept dive bombing Frank at full speed and whenever I scolded him, Texas ignored me and poor Tennessee cowered at my raised voice. Each time Texas zoomed in, Frank batted him away with his big paw, kind of like a pesky fly. This went on six, seven, eight times. By that point poor Tennessee was certain I was yelling at him and was literally crawling on the ground beside me. So when Tex came in for the next ambush, I let Frank off the leash. He deflected the first attack but then realized he was off leash and took off, tackling Texas in mere seconds. They rolled down the hill briefly and then both got up shook their heads and ambled away from each other. Not sure what that was about, but it certainly traumatized poor Tenn.

Tenn is the neatest dog. To the outsider he looks like an ordinary black dog, nothing too remarkable, especially with the tiny cuts on his face and his one flopppy ear. He is remarkable, though, completely attuned to me. I have to be careful because he reacts to every word I say and when I’m scolding Frank or Texas, he takes it personally. If I raise my voice for any reason, he is instantly by my side wanting to be forgiven for something he usually didn’t do. He was super easy to housebreak because the first time he lifted his leg, I simply let out a yell and he slammed it back down and came to beg forgiveness.

Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon
Tennessee
Toothless, (a Night Fury Dragon)
Toothless, (a Night Fury Dragon)

The pictures on the OPH site don’t do him justice. When his ears are folded down against his head (as they are whenever he is worried or convinced it’s him I’m yelling at), he looks exactly like Toothless, the dragon in the movie How to Train Your Dragon. He’s absolutely that sweet, too.

Tennessee just wants to be loved. He will make some family or person an AWESOME dog for life. No one will be returning this gem. You can’t ask for a nicer dog.

DSC_0002I’m not saying that Texas isn’t cool – he’s crazy cool with all his flashy chrome and the way he can slink along the ground like a fox when he’s tracking my horses.

And Frank, well Frank is simply 60 gorgeous pounds of solid devotion ready to turn his life over to the right adopter.DSC_9825 - Copy

I had high hopes for getting these guys all adopted quickly. They all have applications on them, but I’ve learned that applications don’t necessarily mean adopters. It needs to be the right fit. So I’ll be hanging on to the merry band for now. If you’d like to meet them in person, I will be trucking the pack out to Hanover for Sunday’s Meet and Greet at Hanover Home & Garden from 10am-2pm. We’d love to see you there.DSC_9997

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Cara Sue Achterberg

I am a writer, blogger, and occasional cowgirl who lives on a hillside farm in Southern York County, PA. You can find information about my books and all my writing adventures on my website CaraWrites.com.

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