Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Advantage of Your Dog Not Barking All the Time: Cookie Saves Horses' Asses

Like with the boy who cried wolf, one problem with having a dog barking all the time is that nobody pays any attention to it any more.

After all the morning excitement we went back to sleep.

Cookie barks very selectively.

Quite often she doesn't even bark, just makes a kind of snort when she smells something of concern.

When she does bark, we know there is something out there.

Most of the time we don't get to see it but we are quite positive she hears or smells something. Sometimes we get to find prints or other evidence after the fact.

Because she doesn't bark without a reason, we believe her there is something going on and we let her know we believe her, often by going to check it out.

Today Cookie woke everybody up barking at around 4:30 in the morning.

A few snorts first, then barking quite seriously. To show her I was taking note of her warning, I went to the window to look out. I didn't expect to actually see anything, just wanted HER to see me checking it out. But once your face is in the window, you do actually look outside.

I figured she might have smelled a fox which had been around, or the bear which we actually saw the other day.

What I saw instead was a small team of horses, galloping down the road.

I did not expect that. It was quite surreal as if a fairy tale jumped out of a story book. They didn't look spooked, more like they just decided to go on a trip or following somebody. But there was nobody there they could have been following.

I turned to hubby, "guess what Cookie was barking at?" And told him what I saw.
"Are you sure it wasn't deer?" he asked.

It wasn't THAT dark and I've seen deer before, and I've seen horses before. I was pretty sure I've seen five to six horses on their way somewhere towards town.

In the direction they came from, there is only one place that has horses.

They must have come from there. It WAS still 4:30 in the morning.
"Should we called them,? hubby asked.
"If it was Cookie, I'd want to know about it," I said.

So we made the call, reporting our sighting.

"Oh, shit," was the response on the other end. We offered to help if needed. A little while later we saw their truck driving slowly down the road. Some time later, there goes the neighbor with the horses on their way back home.

Apparently, they've made a few stops along the way but made it all back safely.

Fortunately, it was early enough in the morning, there was no traffic yet.

A lot of people drive like lunatics around here and weekends, with all the vacationers, are even worse. If the horses got spooked, which they would have, bad things could have happened.

Later in the morning the neighbor called thanking us.

She was very happy everything went so smoothly.

If Cookie hadn't alerted us, they would wake up in the morning, horses gone, nobody would even know which way they went. And the horses already made it pretty far, there is no telling where they'd end up. And with the traffic starting later in the morning ...

So Cookie is the hero of the day.

And all that was possible because she barks only when there is a reason. "Good girl, Cookie."

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