The Wolf and the Goat A WOLF saw a Goat feeding at the summit of a steep precipice, where he had no chance of reaching her. He called to her and earnestly begged her to come lower down, lest she fall by some mishap; and he added that the meadows lay where he was standing, and that the herbage was most tender. She replied, “No, my friend, it is not for the pasture that you invite me, but for yourself, who are in want of food.” Aesop’s Fable – Translated by George Fyler Townsend – Chicago, Belford, Clarke & Co., 1887
There is a look in Penni ‘s eyes, an instantaneous moment in time that predicts one action, yet is also that brief “you’ve got one shot at this” invitation allowing correction and redirection. It is easy to recognize, if you can catch it….in one pin-pointed blip on the radar the entirety of a 130 pound Great Dane is focused, poised, energized….readied like a loaded gun….and then, as if the trigger has been pulled, the explosive energy forward is unstoppable.
Penni has a passion for our new little kids, Montana, Clark and Lott. She seems confused by her primal instinct to hunt and chase, and her desire to “mother.” With direct supervision, she is off-leash now within the goat’s penned area. Clark and Lott were the bottle fed babies, and they seem to have no problem with Penni ‘s sniffing and slobbering….Montana on the other hand, was raised with the herd and is much less accepting of Penni ‘s affections. He stares at her … in Dane language that is the equivalent to, “You want a piece of me?” , which then causes the response back, “You want a piece of ME?” … and the chase is on. If I can catch the stare, before the quiver of muscle just prior to take off, I can stop the chase with a stern, “OFF IT”….but it is a very brief moment, and the cue is ambiguous at best.
All of this energy, the entire reason for the chase is that Penni needs to sniff, and slobber……but how can you reason with a strong-headed goat…..and how can you negotiate a warmer encounter with a female Dane driven by her desire to mother. For safety’s sake, the use of a shock collar may be in order here. I don’t advocate the frequent use of those, but in terms of a dog’s or goat’s safety, I’d rather Penni got a quick jolt than a pair of broken ribs from horns on Montana’s head….and if Montana is in a vulnerable position like his head is through the fence and his horns are preventing a quick pull back…I’d rather he not hurt himself because he is panicked. He’s just too cute!!!
Everyday, Penni is calmer and more bored with the whole situation…especially when it comes to Clark and Lott…they don’t run…but the chase……..that is a hard game to give up!!
Thank you for visiting the farm today!! I hope you have a fabulous, Sunday!!
Your friend from Oregon,