I love watching the interaction between my dogs when I'm out walking. Now that we have a little termite amongst the pack things have changed quite a bit. Becky and Murphy don't play together so much as Kizzy has claimed Murphy as her own personal "sheltie exercising machine".
Note: Murphy is available for hire to sheltie owners on this basis. Scale of fees: We pay you!
For example, this morning Kizzy found a ball in the fields. She loves to have a toy and encourages Niamh, Poppy or Murphy to chase her. They try to take the toy from her but she's too nifty on the turns for them to catch her. If she gets fed up with the toy and one of the others gets a turn it's interesting to watch the different way that Kizzy deals with this.
If Becky gets the toy then Kizzy just loses interest in it and goes off for a sniff or munch on a few cabbages (more of that later!). If Poppy gets the toy then Kizzy runs circles round her barking at the top of her voice. If Murphy gets the toy then a huge chase ensues. Murphy holds back a tiny bit on speed but not much and Kizzy matches him on huge outruns across large fields. Then he lays down and she jumps back and forth over him barking for him to let her have the toy. If Niamh gets the toy then a strange little following game starts. Niamh trots and Kizzy trots after her but she never barks at Niamh to get the toy back, she just keeps following Niamh until they decide to swap and Kizzy gets the toy then the trotting game starts in reverse.
Meanwhile Abbey just plods along with her little bells jingling interacting with nobody, it's heart breaking! She has been really good lately; eating well and being really full of energy on her walks but today she wasn't well at all and had a couple of staggers and stumbles and was just worn out. I couldn't get back to the car quick enough as I could tell she was quite distressed. She had a bad tummy and I had to give her a good wash when we got home. But, after a small breakfast and a good sleep she was feeling much better. I think there is a change in her condition (chronic kidney failure) in that she is looking quite a bit weaker and for the past week has been getting up every night at 2.00 am for a wee. Again, the jingles are useful because I hear her get up and can let her out in time. It's strange how it's almost spot on the same time every night. I'm hoping it's just a bit of a bad phase and that she'll improve again. I think I'll give her a rest tomorrow though, it's very hard getting the balance between too much and not enough exercise. Without enough she has no appetite and won't eat but too much seems to be taking it's toll. I think I might start to walk her separately soon.
Back to the cabbages. One of the fields we walk through has the remainder of last year's crop of greens which the farmer hasn't yet ploughed back in. Kizzy and Becky are obsessed with the cabbages. They started off by playing with them, carrying the leaves and/or stalks but now they eat them. I try to stop them as I don't want them to get ill eating too many greens but they race off and won't come back and I find them in the middle of the field munching. Real Cabbage Patch Dogs!