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Posted By Ann

We all like to feel needed, to be useful in some way. This applies to animals too. Dogs who do a serious job of work are happy, so are horses who are treated as ‘work mates’ not slaves.
Morty, my dog, is a Koolie, a working breed primarily bred to herd sheep and cattle. I have neither sheep nor cattle, just ponies who do not appreciate Morty practicing his herding skills on them. But he does do things for me. He fetches my hat when we go walking, also his own lead. He loves to lick out yoghurt pots and always picks up the empty when asked and gives it to me. In fact he will pick up more or less anything I drop on the floor and give it to me. He has other self-appointed tasks, Telling me when visitors arrive, he has two different barks which tell me whether they are strangers or known to him. He has also taken on the job of driving away hot air balloons ever since one horrified him by coming down in the neighbour’s paddock. These tasks make him feel needed and exercise his considerable intelligence. This is important, for most of the problems with dogs stem from boredom. Imagine spending your whole life alone in a concrete yard with little or nothing to amuse you except the sound of your own voice – I guess you would get pretty difficult; I know I would. For more about Koolies;  www.koolie.netMorty
Today we don’t usually think of cats as working for us, in the past their rodent hunting skills were highly valued and many cats had important jobs as rodent officers. For eight years Tara was a staff member at my bookshop. If asked she would no doubt have said her position was Manager. I would have described it as Customer Relations. Working in bookshops appears to be very much to feline taste. I have known several other cats with successful careers in this field. Tara made a point of greeting people and was unfailingly courteous and polite. Read more about her in my forthcoming book; THE POWER OF THE CAT





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