Would you like them to meet?

That was the question from the other dog owner this evening as I asked Liddy to sit and stay. We were at least 50 feet apart. At the end of our walk in the woods. She was off leash. She wanted to run over and check them out. I asked Liddy to stay…

Why should they meet? Are we going to be best buddies? No. Will we ever meet again? Not likely. His dog, a pointer, a hunter. Liddy, a cattle dog, a herder.

So why that innocuous question? A nice gesture, but with so many opportunities for disaster.

Aside from the fact they are both dogs, they have nothing in common. Hunters are bred to sit and wait. Wait until the master sends them off to do their job, then return and wait for the next assignment.

Herders are bred to keep the herd together. They are ADD on steroids. After two years with Liddy I don’t think I have fully grasped the concept. I think of the neighbors who think she is a vicious attack dog. Sorry, Liddy thought you were not going the right way at the right time. She just wanted to let you know what she thought. She only knows how to express herself by showing her fangs and making a lot of noise.

I think of the months of training that we have done together, and the months more ahead – more like forever – and then I think of this face.

The one above, the head coyly resting on her paw, watching and assessing me. It was the end of April, 2013, over two years ago.
She was just two years.
She had been in our house for all of two days.
She hadn’t shown me how wicked smart she is.
Or the trouble she would bring.
And she hadn’t shown me the love that she gives without condition.

I am humbled by her devotion.

Liddy sits with me now, well sort of. She is tormenting me and the squeaky ball. She is demanding my attention. She wants me to acknowledge her. To tell her she does good (which she does.) She wants to move! Does she want to meet the other dog? I don’t know. I suspect she was looking at the opportunity to bring order to the chaos she was seeing. An opportunity to exercise those herding genes.

Would I like them to meet? – – – Nope.

Liddy was good. – – – She stayed.