Years ago, I had a dog that wasn’t quite right. Yep, she fit right in with the rest of the family. Part Chow and part Rottweiler, the psychopathic half of her personality shattered through a fragile window of stability with little provocation. Had her former owner not abused her, bath time wouldn’t have required a muzzle and lots of sweet talk, nor would we have had to take precautions to tell any slender, white male stranger he’d better not step onto the property. No man with an ounce of sanity who saw those unfocused crazed eyes, heard that growl and witnessed the bared teeth ever tried to test her resolve.
The one personality that might have been the same had we raised her was a well entrenched herding instinct. But being not-quite-right her choice of animals to herd were cats.
How does a dog go about herding cats? First, run around 5 or 6 felines laying in the front yard. Then start to bark. The cat nearest her might jump Halloween-style before running into a tree/wall/car, or he might swat her on the nose with an open claw then run like hell. A few would lay there ignoring her. The usual result would be several cats scattering for trees, staring down at her as if to say, “Are you crazy?”
By this time, you should know the answer to that question. If the new cliche of insanity is true (doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result) she certainly fit the definition. She departed this world long ago, but the vision of her trying to herd cats still remains.
Funny, I had an Australian shepherd dog who did the same with our cat… She was never abused, but still half batty. We could never really tell if she was trying to herd the cat or rape him, she would round him to where she wanted, then she would present? I’ll never know…
Great story Perhaps all insane dogs think alike?
I guess that’s a step more sane that the cats here that herd the dog around. Poor deaf, legally blind, somewhat senile, always gentle Rally gets herded all over the driveway by half-grown cats. They absolutely love her and would rub themselves all over her if she would stand still long enough. Sometimes they herd her so strongly that she falls over.
Cats herding dogs is one I haven’t heard, but I can see how that would happen to a deaf and 1/2 blind dog–especially with cats raised around horses.
That dog knew how to improvise! 😀 If you see the cats I see, some shepherding would come in mighty handy!
She couldn’t quite grasp the concept that herding cats was like teaching fish to walk. 🙂 Cats are exceedingly adept at avoiding being told what to do.