It's been a busy summer at the Peep Show, as I imagine it has been for all of us. Loads of gardening, canning and weeding that keep us all outside instead of in. Being outside more, I have come to see the strange relationships that have formed between some of the animals on our little slice of heaven.
Our Great Dane, Dexter, has taken his livestock guardian duties very seriously since the day we brought the chicks home. He stays out until they go to bed, and when they don't go to bed quickly enough to suit him he herds them into their coop at night. We had the typical 'pecking order' squabbles as the girls were growing up, and it seems that poor Taffy ended up at the bottom of the heap.
Taffy is a Rhode Island Red, and not the brightest penny in the change jar. She gets flummoxed by gates, doors, fences, plants, garbage cans, you name it. As she gets agitated, the rest of the flock would pounce on her and therefore make her more upset. Her answer to all of the frustration in the flock was to find herself a new best friend.
I was outside weeding when my husband said: "Jennifer, turn around." I turned around to see Taffy up on a wine barrel planter, eye to eye with Dexter, and happily clucking away. It seemed she was telling him all about her day, and, him being the gentle soul that he is, he was listening patiently.
From that point on, Taffy had found herself a new flock. When things get a little hot in the henhouse, she will just go hang out with the dog. They run through the sprinkler together, share popcorn and water bowls, and the dog even stands guard when she takes a dip in the wading pool to cool her feet.
These two are such fun to watch. It's like our own barnyard soap opera and we can't wait to see where the story goes.