On Friday night, my best friend and I took the ponies for a trail ride off the farm. I frequently take Herbie trail riding with me and she’s great around the horses. She doesn’t chase them and she doesn’t stray far. If we ride on the farm or somewhere off-leash friendly, Herbie comes along. Unfortunately, this particular ride meant lots of road crossings and, while I trust Herbie, I don’t trust traffic. So I locked Herbie up in the convenient kennel/run/dog house combo that’s conveniently next to my barn. It was a sunny day with temps in the 70′s. She had fresh water and we would only be gone an hour.
Herbie pranced happily into the kennel when I told her ‘go to your den’. As I shut the door, I noticed a few chickens hanging out at the back of the run. I shrugged and let them be. They looked happy and Herbie doesn’t bother with farm birds. I told her to stay and be good and we rode away.
An hour later we returned and I was horrified to see a dead chicken laying in a heap in the corner of the dog run. Herbie was standing over it with a mouth full of feathers. Mortified, I jumped off my horse and yelled, “NO!!! Herbie! What did you DO?!?!” only to realize…
…it wasn’t a dead chicken at all. The chickens are molting and there was a pile of feathers in the corner and my good girl was simply keeping herself occupied by quietly mouthing the feathers.
I felt bad immediately. Herbie had laid flat, widened her eyes, and licked her lips. Poor thing had no idea what she did wrong. As soon as I saw what was going on I got my super-happy voice on and cheered, “Nothing! You didn’t do anything! Good girl!” and Herbie jumped up, a happy ball of wiggles.
I felt like a jerk for the rest of the day. Poor Herbie was probably sitting there going, “Mom’s gonna be so proud. I’m just sitting here being a good dog. I didn’t even bark when the horses came up the driveway. She’s going to be so… OMG why are you yelling?!?!”
So spill… have you ever yelled at your dog only to find out it really wasn’t what it looked like?