Sal is a Border Collie, a working dog. Thus she does seem to get a bit tetchy about other dogs. It’s as if she cannot really see the point of them. But then she’s perfectly happy playing with the older lambs if the spirit moves them, and she and the cows have an interesting relationship. She has never had to do much with cattle. So she can meander among them and they don’t take offence, merely sniffing her as she wanders past.
The other thing that fascinates her is what the cattle and sheep eat. She quite likes sheep nuts, and when anybody feeds calves she always tags along in case there is some milk spare. (By spare she really means ‘left unattended’.)
But still when I was tidying up the silage at the feed barrier, I wasn’t surprised that she joined me.
As well as silage, the cows are also getting some fodder beet and they love it Sal had been watching them eat it and may have noticed their obvious enjoyment. I’ll not attempt to analyse the thought processes but they seem to be along the lines of, “Cows like dairy cake and I like dairy cake, therefore if cows like fodder beet, I might like fodder beet.
So she wandered across to try some. The cows largely ignored her presence. It certainly wasn’t something they were willing to delay lunch for. She found a piece and chewed it, somewhat meditatively. It rather reminded me of a diner sampling an unknown curry in a new restaurant. Still Sal seemed to find this new ethnic cuisine she was sampling a little bland. Given that the average Border Collie seems to delight in such delicacies as a piece of stinking afterbirth, I can understand her finding fodder beet less toothsome.
At this point a cow noticed a piece of the beet with a small dog attached. A head two to three times the weight of Sal swung across and nudged her away from it. I don’t think Sal thought the vegetarian option was worth making a fuss about.
But anyway, not long after this, a wagon load of cake arrived. When I started in farming unloading a feed wagon involved carrying half hundredweight bags by hand and stacking them in a store, now the cake is just blown in.
The day was cold. Further inland it had been freezing and the weather forecast was for freezing rain and black ice. But whilst it was cold it hadn’t started raining. It was pretty obvious that we couldn’t get black ice, the ground was too warm, but you only need to go a couple of miles from the coast for all that to change.
Anyway with the wagon unloaded, the driver explained that she wasn’t allowed to drive for another four minutes, because of rest periods and drivers hours.
So we watched the rain roll in. The longer she sat about in our yard, the worse the weather was going to get. All she wanted was to get on, get the job done, and get home before it started snowing.
But no, she had four minutes more to wait. I’m not sure what she was expected to do in that four minutes. To put it bluntly, with wind chill it’s been so cold that you’d need more than four minutes to get enough layers off to allow you to go to the toilet!
But never mind, somebody in an office somewhere wrote down the regulations and it isn’t the role of the little people to question the pontifications of the wise. Our place is merely to hear and obey.
Still if you want to know more about what Sal gets up to, try