Opie, who we refer to as “Dopey” behind his and my daughter’s back, came for a visit this past weekend. Now Opie is a city dog; a fancy shmancy snobby designer dog that goes out for casual leashed walks to enjoy pet-friendly local pubs full of other fancy shmancy designer dogs and their millennial owners. He gets groomed regularly and has his nails done at the same time. We have never expected much out of him during his visits. This past weekend though, he became a true-blue redneck country canine.
You see, we encountered a bit of guinea problem this past weekend. For some mysterious reason, the guineas refused to go into their coop at sundown on Friday night. Instead, they flew high into the live oak tree in the backyard. Hoping it was a fluke; we didn’t think much of it until the same thing happened on Saturday night. I’ll be the first to admit that there was not much sleeping going on in that tree, and as a result, not much sleeping going on in the house either. The squawk, squawk, squawk for hours upon hours was maddening. We all woke up Sunday morning sleep deprived. One thing was obvious though; there was little chance of us correcting the behavior without a creative plan.
Our daughter, Bridey, who does her best problem solving when she is tired, cranky and certain she cannot tolerate one more minute of discomfort, hatched a plan. It was a long shot, but worth a try. Timing was going to be everything for this scheme to work.
The plan: right before sundown, when the guineas would be flying into the tree, Bridey would tie her city slicker dog to the tree because he is incredibly curious about these flying squawk machines and they are terrified of this perfectly coifed pup. This would cause chaos for the wayward guineas, giving us an opportunity to herd them back into the pasture and into their coop. Genius, I tell you.
We were guardedly optimistic about this plan as we headed out to the tennis courts because both Steve and I had 4:00 matches. Leaving the courts at 6:00, we calculated sundown, which meant Steve had to break a few traffic laws to beat darkness. We literally screeched to a stop right next to the back door. Bridey ran into the house to grab her dog. The guineas came racing towards the tree and then came to a complete halt, squawking in a frenzied fashion because that damn fluff ball was in-between them and their favorite tree. Ha!, the plan was working because in that confused moment the guineas ran into the pasture. But the job was far from done.
The guineas had NO intention of going into their coop and instead ran wildly through the pasture, following whichever guineas took the lead. As darkness was enveloping the pasture we had only moments to spare before the guineas would be too night-blind to do anything but lay down in the pasture and be certain prey overnight; Dopey Opie to the rescue. Bridey leashed that country pup and ran him side to side in the pasture as he herded those damn ill-behaved little creatures right into the coop.
As we all walked out to the field the next morning, well rested and refreshed, Opie triumphantly charged through the pasture like he owned the place. A city slicker no more and he proved it by eating a huge pile of fresh cow shit.