Things are not always as they seem. It is important to think clearly and look at the situation before making a snap judgement.
Last spring I slaughtered three of our sheep. Later two of our guardian dogs rounded up the remaining sheep and brought them home from the far field. They took a count and realized some were missing. Bet you didn’t know dogs could count. They went down to our neighbors, about a mile away, and “stole” three, exactly three, of his sheep out of a pen and brought them about half way back to our house before I caught up with them.
The dogs were not attacking his sheep as he thought and his other neighbor reported to him on the phone. Rather they were confused as to why they had the wrong number of sheep so they went looking for the missing ones. Imagine the dogs surprise to find our missing sheep at the neighbors or so they thought. Now my neighbors sheep smell just like ours, at least to me and apparently to the dogs. You see we originally got our starting ewes from him and we’ve borrowed his ram at times. So the dogs snagged three of the sheep and brought them back. The three they brought back were two ewes plus one ram lamb which is exactly what they were missing. Even the pregnacy states were the same – one pregnant, one not. Pretty smart dogs!
Fortunately my neighbor was very understanding. I apologized and I gave him and his wife some bacon from the pig we slaughtered the next week. I also offered to buy the three sheep the dogs had taken but he said they were fine.
Realize that this tale can be seen from two sides.
1) our dogs attacked his sheep. – Bad dogs!
2) our dogs went looking for their missing sheep and brought them back home. – Good dogs!
The dog’s point of view is #2 above. They don’t really understand our laws. They just know they are supposed to take care of the sheep, that some were missing, that sometimes the sheep go down that way and they have to go and bring them back. The dogs were just doing their job, if a bit overly enthusiastically.
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