Tuesday, 11 February 2014


It's 9:30 and on my last trip out for the evening, I gather three logs from two firewood piles:  the one we chopped, which is less seasoned, and the one we bought which is a little bit better.  I then grab one of the shovels in the snow bank by the garage and chisel away at the first fifth or so of the laneway, which is covered in snowdrifts again.  I catch sight of the dog, whom I've brought out with me and who is trotting down the path to the barn, and instead of whistling at her to come back, I decide to follow her. 

She doesn't seem to see me as I peer from about twenty feet behind her, obscured by some trees where the path bends before reaching the barnyard's fence.  She is sniffing around the door.  Then she goes around to the run-in shed, where cracks in the lower wall of the barn let her get within inches of the pig's bed.  She could whisper something to him, sweet nothings maybe.  I feel like a parent who has been in denial, who has imagined that her teenaged daughter has been secretly seeing a boy from a reasonably good family down the road, fretting that they might be going too far too fast.  And then one day I happen to see her leaving the house of a middle-aged biker. 

The dog seems to be taking a lot of interest in this pig.  His name is Doug.  Since his brother Rob was brought for slaughter two weeks ago, Doug has been in surprisingly good spirits, but he seems, well, to be more sexually restless than before.  And our dog is in heat.  She has been dropping blood spots throughout the house for weeks now. 

I have read that cross-breeding can occur within genus or even family, but not as far down as order.  That's good news.  I guess Doug and the Dog are just fond of each other and there is no way to correct that.  I might be able to find an animal psychologist and have them attend together but that would be costly and probably not very helpful.  I think for now I will just let it be.

I could also be dead wrong.  They may not like each other at all, and the dog may just be visiting the barn because social contact with the pig is better than social contact with bossy humans.  Maybe she goes there to commiserate.  Or, maybe she goes to remind him that she gets to roam around while he lies in the barn, to remind him that she is privileged above all of the other animals - at least she would never be brought to a slaughterhouse.

Robbie, right, later in life.  Doug, left and tan cat above

No comments:

Post a Comment