If you have ever wondered about a Cattle Dog's intelligence, these "tail's" will convince you that he is one of the smartest canines on earth. He understands numerous human words without having been formally taught. He can recognize your car's engine coming home from at least 1/8th of a mile away. The Dingo in his bloodline has provided him with superior intelligence as how to sneak and get what he wants from literally "under your nose" and get away with it. Finally, his loyalty to you "the human" is surpassed by few. Read on and enjoy these "tails".
Case #1 "The Roast Caper"
Rocky, our patriach, at the time was about 2 years old. We were having a cookout with family and friends who brought lots of goodies - one of which was a full-sized pork roast encased in aluminum foil. It was placed in the center of the picnic table. Everyone except myself, the BBQ cook, went off to get the remainder of the goodies and more chairs. Rocky watched the activities and began to hatch his plot. When everyone returned, we began to gather our plates and serve up the food. The aluminum foil was opened and to our surprise , there was nothing and I mean nothing inside the perfectly formed aluminum foil. the roast was gone, and so was Rocky. He returned shortly after and laid down contently next to the table. The theft was so well orchestrated, that none of us could get angry at him - so I took the blame. Case closed - the dog did it, but how did he leave the aluminum foil so perfectly formed as if never disturbed? You be the judge.
Case #2 "What Hot Dogs?"
We were grilling hot dogs at a friend's house. Rocky was hanging around and occasionally playing with some cold coals in an old firepit. I turned to get the "dogs" but the grill was bare. We couldn't blame the beagle - he couldn't reach them. Our friends were stand there with empty rolls waiting their turn to have one. And Rocky, well, he just licked his lips and smiled that familiar doggy smile as if to say, "thanks they were good". So when did he do it? I don't know but I never left the grill - not even for a minute!
Case #3 "The Foiled $2000 Robbery"
Rocky began barking relentlessly one Sunday morning around 1am. I looked out and saw a familiar Honda pulled over by our neighbor's house. Rocky kept barking and finally the vehicle left. I assumed it was our neighbor's daughter returning from a date as her boyfriend owned a Honda the exact color, make and model. Well, in the morning we saw lots of boxes stacked against our fence in our neighbor's yard. We called her and asked about the boxes but she knew nothing about them. Upon exam, roughly $2000.00 of professional electricians tools were in the box. We contacted the police, but the theft had not yet been reported. It turned out later that the items had been stolen from a truck 2 doors down, and the Honda (whose engine Rocky did not recognize) was the pick-up car. They were unable to get the stuff because Rocky would not stop barking. The man who owned the tools was extremely grateful to our neighborhood hero, Rocky! The owner said that he'd need to reimburse his boss $2000.00 to purchase new tools otherwise.
Case #4 "Saving the Neighbor"
We recently had new neighbors move in next door, one of whom was an elderly grandmother who spoke no English. Rocky ran over to the fence one day and barked, growled, and angrily snarled at her as she was hanging up her laundry. He charged the fence continously until she ran inside. Then he just sat there and repeatedly growled while looking under her porch. When we got there, we saw a teetering raccoon foaming at the mouth and snarling angrily from under the ladies porch. I shudder to think what the outcome would have been had this sweet, elderly, woman continued her task. School was about to let out also, and her grandson would have returned home shortly. Animal Control officers were very grateful and so was she. We later found out that the raccoon had rabies. So why did Rocky act out like he was about to eat the poor old soul and after she left he just sat there snarling? Clearly, he thought of her safety.
Case #5 "The Egg Caper"
We got some fresh eggs from our neighbor's farm and thought we had put them away. We went out leaving only Zeke, our prized herding dog, loose in the house. When we returned 2 raw eggs were found rolling around on the floor. The dish on the stove, which had contained them, was still where we left it and the eggs were completely intact sitting on the floor.How could this be? Zeke apparently wanted to find out if they were edible and gently removed them from the dish. After deciding that he didn't like them, he just left them safely intact on the floor. How did he pick them up without cracking them? It's definitely s mystery and an exercise in excellent self control!
The following tails were written by Cindy Bickford about her ACD Festus
Case #6 "Natural Born Instincts"
Festus came into my life December 9, 2007 at 9 weeks old and he was my first cattle dog. From that day forward my life without a cattle dog will not exist. He amazes me almost daily. At 12 weeks old we were in the barn doing our everyday chores. I was clearing my stalls and had put my 3 horses out in the front pasture with their morning hay. I had tied Festus at the front door, leaving it open for it was a very sunny winter day in Maine. About 20 minutes after putting the horses out, Festus started barking non-stop. When I looked down through the barn at him he was very persistently barking towards the horses. When I got to the doorway I was shocked - my gelding Jiggs had discovered that the fence charger, even thoughit was on, wasn't working. Jiggs took it upon himself to walk through the fence and take a stroll down the driveway straight for the road! Reacting before thinking I reached down and untied Festus who was still having a meltdown. As soon as I put the rope down I said. "Bring him back Festus!". He took off like a bullet. It was then that I realized that they both were headed for the road! Like a flash of lightning Festus ran past Jiggs & turned about 10 feet of him barking like he was 500 lbs. Jiggs stopped, looked down at this 12 week old puppy who slept on his feet nightly, while snuggled up in his supper as if to be in shock. Festus jumped at him, still barking from his toenails and turned Jiggs back in the direction of the barn. As soon as Jiggs was committed, Festus pushed him forward. I yelled, "Bring him Festus - bring him!". Pushing Jiggs into a trot they both came up the driveway towards the barn. Festus proceeded to herd Jiggs into tthe barn door past me (with my mouth hanging open) right into his stall and stood in the doorway refusing to let him back out. From that day forward, I knew life without Festus would be new adventure almost daily. Cattle Dogs are the most amazing K-9's ever created!!!
Case #7 " The Yearling"
I currently have my 3 horses at a friend's farm who also has horses and raises Scottish Highlander Cattle. She has several average sized pastures that encircle her house, each sporting a shed for shelter. The pasture to the left of my horses was empty, my horses and the cattle in the pasture to the right. Robin and I were along the fence to the left discussing how we going to run a temporary fence line. Festus was hanging with us and Robin's shepherd mix. Movement in the lower part of my horses' pasture caught our attention. We turned to see one of her yearling calves quietly grazing. Robin looked at me and said, "that little stinker. I'm going to have to put back where he belongs'. With that said we turned our attention back to the fence line. Catching movement again in the corner of my eye, I turned to see Festus walking calmly over to the yearling. He stopped in front of the calf & lowered his head. They both stared at one another for a minute & when Festus dropped his head lower the yearking started turning in the direction of the cattle pasture. At a casual pace Festus & the yearling walked across the field. When the yearling dropped his head at the fenceline, Festus darted (continued on next page)