Kerrie is Habibi’s daughter, the one from his litter ten months ago that I decided to keep. Her mother, Lilo, who I have written about before, is getting to retirement age, and although she dearly loves having puppies, the time is coming when she will have to be satisfied with grand and great grand pups. So I decided to keep Kerrie to carry on the family name.
She has shown that she has a mind of her own from a very young age. She was very quick to become the leader of the pack among her own siblings, being the one who strode out first to explore new territory when I took the puppies out to new places for socialization, and then to immediately take possession and call her pack mates to watch her back and bark at anyone daring to think that this was not her personal property. When her littermates left for their new homes, she became part of the collie pack, and keeps them busy, running off to inspect every new happening in the yard – a falling leaf, a bird on the tree, the neighbor’s dog barking 200 meters away….Life is always interesting, and she is always in control. The collies don’t mind, and when she becomes too much of a pest, they make faces at her and she backs down with the “Okay, okay, I’m just a puppy!!!” posture.
At night, though, I don’t leave her out with the collies, as I do sometimes like to get some sleep, and am not really interested in the whole pack spending the night barking at moths and mice. So she is closed in a yard of her own in the kennel, where it is quiet and there is nothing to bark at.
So I really couldn’t understand why, a few nights ago, she started barking and barking and barking when all the others were quiet. This was definitely not normal, and the tone of her bark was of alarm. I went out and looked around and saw nothing. I firmly told her to shut up and went back in, but she again began persistent alarm barking. Several times I went out to check, and found nothing, though she was standing off on one side of the yard instead of running around as she usually does. But there was absolutely no apparent reason for her behavior.
Finally, I gave up and fell asleep, and either she got tired or she barked, I was too tired to know.
The next morning when I went out to take care of the dogs, there was nothing unusual. Everyone ate breakfast, and Kerrie went out with the collies and ran around with them happily as ever.
In the afternoon, when I went back out to the dogs, I entered Kerrie’s yard (where Lilo is during the day), and saw something that looked like a huge snake hanging down from the kennel roof along the back wall. I had a moment of total panic! One of the things that totally terrifies me is snakes in the kennel area, since we have poisonous vipers in the area, and over the years have had several very unpleasant experiences. And this was huge!!!
After a moment of collecting my wits, I saw that it was not a snake at all. It was a piece of old rubber hose pipe. This hose, which was very thick and about two meters long, had been on the kennel roof for years – someone had thrown it up there and I had never been able to reach it to get it down. The night before, it had been quite windy – the changing weather of autumn – and apparently during the night it had been blown to the edge. Kerrie saw it up there, looking like a snake, and not having had any real experience with snakes, insisted on warning everyone who could hear her – “Snake! Snake! Snake! Snake!!!! The other dogs knew what a real snake was and ignored it. I couldn’t see it, not having her sensory abilities. During the day, the wind blew it further, until it was dangling over the edge and down the side of the kennel – and then I could see it.
I pulled it down and coiled it up next to the trash can to take out to the trash collection point later. When I let Kerrie into the yard for the night, she looked over at it and then looked at me with satisfaction. “Snake! I told you so!!!!”