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.
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