Tara Becomes a Cow Dog

After Greg got off work today, he went to his mom’s house to do some on-line bill paying, and told her about the black-and-white cows, which by this time were hunkered down behind the old dairy barn across the road from Ann and Ben’s house. A couple of phone calls later, one of the owners of the cows, Little Gus, came out to drive them back.

Much later, after Greg had come back home, Anna was outside with the dogs when suddenly Ready’s ears perked and he got that alert look that dogs get when their super-senses tell them something of interest is going on far away. Remembering the cattle, Anna hustled him inside, then went after Tara, who was farther away. But Tara was already off and running to the southwest, toward the strayed cattle and Little Gus.

I should say that this dog of Daniel’s, while charming and winsome and very pretty, is not especially wise. In fact, she has a penchant for getting into trouble. She is big, strong, energetic, and blonde. The prospect of her running after our neighbor’s cattle was not a happy one.

Anna chased the dog hither and yon, and met Little Gus and his cows. Just as she’d dreaded, Tara chased the cows and barked at them. What Anna did not expect was for Tara to round up the cattle and herd them back through the gap in the fence where they belonged, but that is what she did.

Little Gus was impressed. Tara had just saved him a lot of work. “That’s a pretty good cow dog!” he said. “What is it, a Labrador?”

“Um, could you grab her for me?” Anna asked. Having sent the cows packing, Tara was now frisking about with a bone in her mouth, but there was no telling how long that would last. At any moment, she might decide to bolt across the fence herself.

Tired and relieved, Anna took Tara back to the house, and when Daniel returned from a long day of pressure-washing, she gave him a good report of his dog. It’s funny that a flighty young Labrador-Spaniel mix should do so well at herding cattle. Ready, a Border collie-Australian shepherd mix, has genetics on his side, but had to stay home without even getting a chance to show what he could do.

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