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

Tara

 
2 Comment(s):
Sally Bird said...
In late April the very day before I was due to go overseas for five weeks I found my little cat Purdey in the garden in much distress. We think she was hit by a truck but we hadn't heard anything. We rushed to our wonderful Vet who said her right back leg was very badly broken but luckily no internal injuries. He did not feel confident of pinning her leg and suggested a specialist but there was no way we could afford the fee. Then my husband, ever the pragmatist said 'what about amputation?' As a result we have a three legged cat who has made an astonishing recovery from the trauma and hurtles around the garden and teases our elderly Pug into chasing just as she did with four legs. All cats are special of course but this one came to us at about three months of age after being dumped out here in the country. She must have used up a couple of her nine lives!
June 28, 2009 3:50 PM
 
Ann Walker said...
Answering Lyn's question - 'Did Morty tip the chair over when he got my hat?' No he did not. When he saw that was a possibility he put his nose under the hat and pushed it up over the top of the chair. That is what I call intelligence in an animal. Faced with a problem they work out how to overcome it. Please be sure to put your comments at the end of the blog you are commenting on- not at the end of all blogs! It is absolutely great getting so much feedback. I loved Vera's account of Star finding the collar when hubby failed!
June 5, 2009 9:20 PM
 
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Ann
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Australia

 
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