Another memory I posted earlier about Smoke shortly after he moved up to the Alpha role….
With Trevor gone now Smoke has now become a leader of sorts finally… he leads the escapes into the “forbidden zones” where collies are not allowed because of potential dangers to them or the items residing there. In the past Trevor, Hallie and Niamh enforced the ban on anyone going into these places when the gates are open due to work being done or stuff being moved through the area.
Trevor would stand guard and no one dared pass and so did Hallie and before them Niamh. These three collies were the only ones ever allowed into these areas because when they came with me they stayed at my side and never got into things or left my side. Even so, they did not go often.
One of the forbidden zones is the garage. Full of tractors, cars, chemicals, paints, oils, anti-freeze, ect. a locked door and a 6 foot high fence with a locked gate keeps them out. But, the other day as I worked on building a implement shed I finished up and opened the gate, the door and began carrying things in. I try to close the entries behind me but with my hands full it didnt happen and as I entered with my back to the door and put stuff on the shelf in less than a minute (I didnt want to set it down since some of it was paint and chemical based primer and didnt want to chance a collie sneaking through to get into it) turned around to find Ellie coming through the door into the garage.
No! Get! I commanded and she turned around and left and I walked the 6 steps to the doorway and looked… hmmmm….. some collies are missing!!
So, I turned around and looked into the darkness of the garage and said “You know better, come on!” In the darkness I see movement and out comes Smoke into the daylight….. followed by his band of merrymen (Walter, Mick and Rutherford). As I stepped aside they all ran past me out into the yard and I turned and looked at them and said “You know better! No! No Garage!” Smoke of course looked at me with the expression “What Garage?” Then he looked at the other collies like it was their idea…..
Yeah… for the past week Smoke has led on excursion after another into areas not allowed when the gates were opened momentarily. Of course, I am a bit lax since for well over a decade I have had a enforcer to stop them. Apparently, so far no one has taken that role although lil Hallie after I say something goes around and lets them know not to do it again! Hopefully, she will soon adopt the role of enforcer which I am sure she will since she is showing the signs of becoming my lieutenant more each day. It takes time to grow into these roles…
So, with my laxness and Smoke’s new role as excursion leader I am having to play catchup and rethink how I do things. We will adapt and in time things will get back to normal.
I do have to admit it is sort of interesting and funny to see this group of Smoke and his Merryman going on a excursion as SMoke charges out ahead and the others merrily strut along acting like children getting away with something… “We put one over on the old guy didnt we” they look to be thinking as they merrily escape into forbidden areas…..
Luckily, I have always tried to be prepared for such eventualities and the potential dangers are up on shelves but there are still things within reach of the collies such as implements…..
After over 20 years the escape into the garage is the first such incident so our record is great at protecting them…. but what if I hadnt spotted Ellie? Most likely they would be okay, but cuts scrapes and bruises cold still happen…..
So, my guard is up and my eyes wide open to potential excursions now, like into the garden, garage, forbidden rooms with breakable and cherished items, ect. I shouldnt be surprised though, Smoke’s dad is a escape and excursion artist also….. sort of runs in the family…..
As I look at Smoke I tell him that yeah, while I am working you have 24/7 to plot…. ah yes….. so the battle of wits is on now….. a tired old guy taking care of life against a group of merrymen who plot 24/7 for the possibilities of going into the forbidden zones if given a second’s chance.. LOL….
Go ahead dad, open that gate.. I want to mark those tractors….. they have dirty tires so it will also wash them…. muwahahahaha