Sunday, November 26, 2006

Love is Blind

In the last couple of months, we've had a few visiting border collies. Every farm around has at least one for working the sheep. The farm between us and Innes has about twelve of them. When we get a visiting collie, I try to figure out whose dog it is and ring them up. A good working dog is valuable. Most of the visiting dogs are frightened of me and take off when I try to call them to me. I'm glad that Polly has been spayed as all of the visiting dogs seem to be entire males.

The other morning, I think it was Thursday. I sprang from my bed at about seven. My normally quiet dog Polly was barking. It was a scary, there-is-an-intruder sort of bark.

I went to the back door with the dog behind me and shouted out, "Is anybody there?" Silence. I then said in a loud clear voice, "I'm letting the dog out!" Then this ancient black border collie came around from behind one of the cars. Polly pushed past me and ran out to this dog. She immediately starting licking the face of this old timer and the two of them dashed off around the side of the house to the front garden, the older dog forgetting that he is old.

I'm sure you remember me mentioning our neighbours that have a sheep farm up the road. Innes and his son Gordon (George's best pal). They've lived on this road their whole lives. Well, their old working dog Bill has become a regular visitor here at Whitelees.

Bill is a border collie and a proper working dog that sleeps outside in the barn. He has never been a pet. He is properly ancient now, walking in that stiff arthritic way old dogs walk. It is heartbreaking to look at his face. There aren't many white hairs on his muzzle but his eyes are very milky. Bill is all but blind. He comes to us by using his memory, nose and hearing. This morning's visit makes the third time this week that he has come for a visit. I think he slept in the smaller greenhouse last night. (the greenhouse where I grow my tomatoes). I'd let him come in the house but he smells.

I've just sent Innes a text to let him know where his dog is. They'll probably tie Bill up now. That's a shame because yesterday when Bill didn't visit, Polly went looking for him. I think they're firm friends. I like old Bill and I don't mind that he comes to see us but I understand that it will be dangerous for a blind dog to be walking down a dark country road to visit his lady love.

13 comments:

Claude said...

Another good story. Thanks.
Nice sunny morning in Paris. Hoping for more good weather!

Alan G said...

I have always wanted a Border Collie but being a city dweller, it is just not the place to live for such a wonderful dog. But if I ever move to the wide-open spaces, the second day I am there I am getting my Border Collie.

The Bird Woman said...

Can I have Smelly Bill? - he might help keep away Smelly Cat!

Poor old dog.

Peggy said...

Bird Woman - Sorry Bill isn't mine to give away. If he was looking for a home, then he'd find one here.

Bill has been "anchored" to prevent his amorous wanderings. It was annoying to Innes to discover that his dog had gone off without permission.

Tink said...

It's sweet... and it breaks my heart. A dog can't live out its last days tied up. Couldn't they bring him over for play dates at least?

NurseWhoLvdMe said...

Hey Peggy,
I ambled over to your site from Mad's. I love your stories. Thanks for sharing them with us all.
~Nurse

Peggy said...

Tink, you're such a softie!

Do you think I would not go over to free Bill if I though he was going to spend the rest of his days on the end of rope. Innes wouldn't do that to a dog that has given him years of faithful service.

I'm up at the farm a couple of times a week, Polly and Bill will get to play from time to time.

Peggy said...

Thanks for visiting Nurse! It's nice that you stopped by!

Jay said...

How sweet. I'm glad that Polly will still get time to see her old friend.

Justin said...

Hey, its nice to hear about Bill..n you know these working dogs are soo helpful to us....

Mortart said...

My son owns an Australian shepherd dog, a breed I had never heard of before. It's better looking than a collie and is the most magnificent dog that I--as a onetime owner of at least 5 dogs--have ever known. Not only it is beautiful but it's extraordinarily intelligent and has a wonderful personality. My son's dog doesn't get a chance to work out with sheep, but he does get a workout with my 3 grandsons.

sally said...

This is such a cute story!! I wish I had more room for a Border Collie. They have far too much energy to be cooped up in a suburban yard. I'm sure our Lucy (dog) would love some company!

UKBob said...

I have two border collies, Tippy and Tommy. Tippy is my working dog from our farming days, she is now retired and spoilt rotten - always has been! Tommy isn't a working sheep dog so is put to use in other ways as Border Collies need to have their minds stimulated as they are very intelligent. I wouldn’t have any other breed of dog.