Never Go Down to the End of the Town

Kavi and Ben Cutting Christmas Tree

…without me.

James James
Morrison Morrison
Weatherby George Dupree
Took great
Care of his Mother,
Though he was only three.
James James Said to his Mother,
“Mother,” he said, said he;
“You must never go down
to the end of the town,
if you don’t go down with me.”
Opening to the poem Disobedience
by A. A. Milne
in the book When We Were Very Young 1924

Kavi Giving the Eye

Normally Kavi is a stay at farm guardian.
He protects our flocks and herds from predators.
As a treat Kavi loves to go in the car.
He rides shot gun. As a result,
We have no problem with car-jackers.
Kavi has that stalker look perfected.
He is a master of the Evil Eye.
Nary he needs say a word.
His looks transfix.
Silent but convincing.
It works on animals of all sorts.

Think cross of a between Jack Nickolson and Harrison Ford but with real fangs. He’s a handsome boy.

This is in contrast with Romula.
She is the smallest of our dogs.
And quite cute, so everyone says.
She runs around her charges at high speed.
She is loud. Very, very, very loud.
She projects her power through her voice.
She makes it clear not to mess with her pigs.
She makes it clear to the pigs to move.

Everyone has their style.

Kavi as a Wee Pup

But back to the poem. When I was a wee lad and only about knee high my mother would tell me that story. I thought she had made it up and was talking about me. You see some of our family names are in the story. It’s a reasonable mistake for a little guy to make.

Kavi on Guard

So why would that poem remind me of Kavi? Well, he is extremely obedient, highly trained and intelligent. And he absolutely loves to go in the car on trips which makes him a good anti-carjacking dog. For him its a treat he gets for all his hard work. He sings a song like that poem, he never wants us to go down to the end of the town without him.

But he does have one bad habit. Our entire valley used to have a town in it. Kavi occasionally likes to go on walk-about time-to-time and hunt porcupines. Based on following his tracks he heads up to hunt along the flank of Sugar Mountain and into the upper valley where there are groves of porcupine food at the far side of town. I just wish he would take me with him. I have thumbs and can wield sharp pointy sticks. It is better than bringing the quills back in your face.

Kavi Being Mob Greeted by Some of His Offspring
It’s good to be loved – sort of

Roaming is a classic characteristic of guardian dogs – they’re marking and patrolling their territory. I just wish he would not go down to the end of the town without me.

Outdoors: 78°F/55F Partially Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 70°F/67°F

Daily Spark: Don’t talk unless you improve the silence. -VT Proverb in Echos in the Mountains

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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7 Responses to Never Go Down to the End of the Town

  1. Mel says:

    Have you had issues with your neighbors due to your dogs’ roaming? (I remember one story about them bringing home the wrong three sheep – that was hilarious!) Kavi is a handsome fellow. I’d love to have a dog like him, although I don’t think he’d be happy being a suburban pet. Does he succeed in killing the porcupines, or just end up with the quills?

  2. Kristin says:

    So have you ever heard the huffle of a snail in danger?

  3. Michelle says:

    I love those poems! My Mom used to read them to us as kids, and in turn I’ve read them to our kids. Although I have not yet succeeded in hearing the huffle of a snail in danger…

  4. Nan says:

    Kavi is beautiful. I can tell he is a real wolf because of how he walks with his feet in line. I am so amazed that you are able to use wolves to herd and guard your livestock. Out here in the west they are a rancher’s worst enemy after the government that is I guess. How did you ever get started with them no less a whole pack of them??

    • Hmm… I am not sure I would say that Kavi is a ‘real wolf’ although scientifically all dogs are wolves. They’re all the same species, just different sub-breeds according to research in the 1990’s. I think people are scared of individual wolves, and the concept of wolves, because wolves are independent operators, they haven’t particular domesticated humans to be their advocates. That is to say that people are more fearful of the idea of a dog who can live without them. This independence scares people. Perhaps why some people are scared of independent women. :)

      The founders of our pack simply showed up on our doorstep and started working here on our farm, despite my repeated invitations that they leave. Once I finally accepted it we developed a working relationship. Wolves are really natural ranchers. It is best if they’re working with you than against you. I read an article about how the populations of elk(?) improve when the wolves are around to keep smaller predators like foxes and coyotes from killing the young of herbivores.

      The reality is that rodents make up the bulk of the diet of wolves, coyotes and foxes. They rarely make big game kills unless the animals are weak. Domestic livestock fall in the weak category all too often. I see our dogs spy hopping to catch mice and voles out in the fields all the time. This is probably why we don’t have much problem with these pests.

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