Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Saturday, May 19, 2018

The Poop Deck




I’m almost sure it couldn’t have been a group effort.
Maybe I should explain . . .
For over thirty years, our family loved, trained and raised Old English Sheepdogs. Emphasis on loved.
The OES is a breed known for its protective nature. Its intelligence, loyalty, gentleness, energy, fun and for just being downright cute. From puppyhood right into old age.
Okay, yes, in full coat, it can be rather blind.
Let’s see how well you do with your hair hanging in your eyes!
And said coat takes hours to keep up.
Unless you do what we did (a lot of the time) and simply shave them in the spring with the other sheep!
Another drawback/perk is that this breed is large and requires an equally large amount of exercise. Which, in turn, necessitates someone actually making an effort to give them that exercise.
Enough. On with my story. Which may or may not have anything to do with what I’ve already said . . .
One bright summer morning, after the first of their three daily walks, and because they were bothering me with their insistence on taking their second walk (which was still hours away); I put all three of our adult OES’s on the deck.
It was a lovely, large deck and they roamed around the enclosed area, sniffing the air and generally acting like dogs.
Then flopped out in the center in the warm sunshine.
A short time later, I went to call them back inside.
No dogs were evident at my first glance through the window.
Alarmed, I ran to the door and threw it open.
To see, residing in lonely glory in the very center of the deck, a pile of . . . leavings? excrement? dung? muck? feces? poop?
You get the picture.
Now I probably don’t have to tell you that this sort of thing was very fiercely frowned upon.
I mean, that is one of the major reasons the cretins had three walks a day!
And our dogs were extremely well trained. And knew such a mistake was one of the few times when the boom was going to definitely be lowered.
With force.
Right. Remember when I said I couldn’t see any of the dogs when I looked out the window?
Well, that is because all three had wedged themselves under the built-in benches that ringed the edges of the deck.
Wedged.
As in—so tightly stuffed that nothing protruded past the 12-inch bench seats.
And I probably don’t have to remind you that these were large dogs.
I stepped out onto the deck.
Silence. One would never know they were even out there.
I moved over to the scene of the crime. “Who did this?!” I demanded.
The silence remained unbroken.
Oh, they were good.
“Come out here!”
Three large dog bodies slowly crept out from under the benches.
Again, I demanded, “Who did this?!”
I don’t know what I was expecting. Someone to throw their furry self on my mercy?
Two loud voices denouncing their fellow?
That’s what my kids would have done.
If . . . one of them had had an accident on the deck.
I mean . . .
Never mind. This doesn’t apply at all.
I probably don’t have to tell you that I never did discover the culprit. Although, if I try I can almost picture it: One dog doing the dirty. And two others running about, screaming, "Oh, my word!!! Look what Aldo did!!! Everybody flee for your lives!!!"
Ahem.
All three received the standard punishment, the swat on their furry backside and ‘don’t do it again!’ that had proven so effective in the past.
But still I wonder . . . I mean, it couldn’t have been a group effort.
Could it?

4 comments:

  1. Those poor, poor dogs. I can feel their shame. And suspect that once they had that swat on their furry fundaments (which I doubt they felt) all was better again.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It most certainly could have......oneof those deals where it was fun at the time but after careful thought...oh my.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hmmm . . . maybe there was a good reason for their insistence on a walk! When you gotta go . . .

    ReplyDelete
  4. I had a sheep dog when I was a child and I loved him dearly. I've always wanted another one. I wanted to also say thanks for the prayers and thoughts sent my way. It really meant a lot to me.

    ReplyDelete

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