Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Honest Abe, Clever Abe

While the nation is focused on our new president, and since there are so many references being made to Abe Lincoln, it’s a good day to tell you about his namesake who lives in our household. Abe is a bearded collie, our family’s livestock herding dog. He was my son’s first dog, and is about eight years old, named after old Honest Abe.

Today gave an indication of Abe’s cleverness. We live along a busy highway (by country standards), with lots of oilfield traffic. This afternoon, Abe was outside and barked to let me know that someone was here. I stepped to the window to see the UPS truck coming down the highway with the turning signal on, just starting to slow down to turn into our driveway. The UPS truck wasn’t to the driveway yet, but Abe knew he was coming here. Was it because of the turning signal? That’s my bet.

Oilfield pickup trucks often park at our turnout so occupants can talk on cell phones, and Abe never bothers to let me know about them. The UPS truck comes here often, and never gets barked at unless he’s coming here - not when he's just driving by on the highway. The truck is quiet, so it’s not as though there is any major noise warning.

Regardless, Abe knows that I want to be alerted when UPS is arriving, and not alerted when the oilfield workers are using the turnout. He’s a very good boy, our honest, clever Abe.


Matt Mullenix said...

My Rina, like most hunting dogs I suppose, knows from the very earliest possible clue that I'm going to take her out that day. She is underfoot constantly once she's decided this, and follows me from room to room whether I am actively gathering gear or not.

But somehow she also knows when I'm NOT going to take her, and instead of crowding me at every doorway, she runs to the chair by the kitchen window so that she can stare at me while I back the truck out of the drive without her.

She is a master of the guilt trip.

mdmnm said...

The chessie isn't so resigned. He sticks his head in the doorway (after breaking from "sit") and, while not trying to get out, won't move it out of the way until I physically push his nose back in. Then he stares out the window projecting the guilt vibes.