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Are You Smarter Than a Border Collie? Hometown Festival

 merry go round 

Patches continues to play the game who is smarter dog or human and so far the score is 3 to 1 in favor of Border Collie.   She has been getting out at night and waiting for me to let her back in when I leave for work. Border Collie one, human zero.  Actually it could easily be two to zip. After my last story in which I thought her dead, Mom and I trimmed her neck to make better contact with the collar.  She stayed in for a few days and was out again Thursday morning.  That afternoon after work, I tied her up and took off the fence collar and trimmed some more hair from her neck. She has to be tied up when I take the collar off as she knows the collar is to keep her in and she won’t let me put it back on her.

I put her collar back on and turned her loose.  She kept looking and smelling the hair on the ground for several minutes like she was going to cry. The next morning she was still at home and I thought yes, I win that one.  Just as I walked into the lab, my neighbor called and said she was out, but didn’t have time to stop and take her collar off and get her back in.  She must have tried to follow me to work. Miss Priss two, Mary zero.

When I got home from work she still wasn’t around the house. The morning storm had tripped the ground fault outlet, and if the fence is off, Patches is off.  A storm was brewing, so I kept calling her and then fed Blackie and Levi.  After the storm passed she was laying by the back door.  We went through the chaining up routine again, and I changed the battery in her collar and tighten it up just a tad and turned her loose.  I told her the kitchen was closed and gave all three a biscuit before closing down the garage door.  I felt so guilty not feeding her.  The next morning she was at home, and I gave all three a biscuit in order to ease the hunger pains.  While I worked in the yard she hardily let me out of her sight, and at lunch time she started camping out by her food bowl in the barn.  I fed them before leaving to help with the Helen Keller Festival and gave her a little extra. Sunday she was still at home. For now Border Collie three, human one.

Our animals have us trained so well, just think about it.  Even the little hummingbird with a brain the size of a pinhead has us humans trained well.  Those of us who put up feeders have similar stories of empty feeders, and the birds going from window to window looking for us to let us know they want something to eat, and we’ll go and put up a fresh feeder.  Several times I’ve tried to sit out on the screen porch with a cup of coffee reading the morning paper only to have a hummer flying back and forth fussing at me about an empty feeder until I get tired of the noise and put up a clean one. 

 Cats will come and meow at you until they get fed.  Some will only use their litter box once and if not cleaned promptly use the carpet somewhere in the house. Their human owners have learned to make sure that the box is kept clean.

The hooligans have taught me that they have to get a biscuit before retiring into the house for the night. I get the biscuits and make them sit in a circle around me before handing out the biscuits.  They comply just to make me feel like I’m the master of the house. Levi is usually the first one that sits in the circle and will poke one of the girls who takes her time to sit like he’s telling them, "Hey we won’t get anything until you sit."

Does your dog bring you a leash asking to go out?  They have you trained well.

This weekend I volunteered at the Helen Keller Festival which took place at Spring Park, the landing site of the first settler of Tuscumbia. 

memorial to Indian removal

Thirty five million gallons of water a day flow from the spring at the base of Spring Creek. Part of the water is pumped up the hill and flows down as one of the largest man made waterfalls.

ducks at paddle wheel dam

It’s a neat little park that has a little train, roller coaster, merry go round, a pavilion building and bridge built by the WPA.

train at Spring Park

Spring Park pond

trolleys bring more folks to the park

roller coaster

Various concerts, non-commercial made arts and crafts and demonstrations. The concert by Jimmy Wayne seemed very popular with the crowd. The funds raised by the festival go to the upkeep and restoration of Helen Keller’s home. Next festival coming up is the W C Handy Festival in July.

Helen Keller Festival crowd and band

Just as I was getting smug over the Patches breakout situation since she’s stay home for the last two days, Mom calls me at work and says one of your children is laying in my flower bed. Now the score is Border collie 4, human one.

mary carton
7/2/2011 8:52:35 AM

Dave I didn't get to enjoy the festival much since I was working the gate. I got there a little early before my shift to get some pictures. With all the rain we've gotten the last couple of weeks, I had to mow grass Saturday morning. On my Father's Day post I posted the a couple of links to tractor square dancing Farmall's. What do they do in a tractor rodeo? Never heard of it. I think I would enjoy the Dutch festival. Patches has been behaving so far this week. I'll update on my next post. Thanks for visiting and taking the time to comment. Mary


nebraska dave
6/29/2011 11:44:30 PM

Mary, I love those hometown traditional festivals. They always seem to have great food. :0) We have couple dutch communities in Iowa that have great Tulip Festivals. The pastries are awesome. They have the dutch dancers with the wooden shoes. One year they had a square dance with tractors. Then there's always the tractor rodeo. It really looks like patches is just messing with you just because she can. You are way more patient with her then I would be. I guess she is just one that will always test the boundaries to see just how far she can go. So far it seems that she has the upper hand. I hope you figure out a way to keep her in before she has no hair around the neck. Have a great hooligan day.