You may recall my having mentioned Chloe, our beloved rescue dog who is some sort of Cattle Dog, Aussie-Coyote-something mix. She identifies as a Cattle Dog.
Sweet Hubs and I argue cheerfully over whether she loves cows or hates them, because she barks and whines and carries on like an wild thing whenever she sees cows out the window from her spot in the back seat of the truck. As a side note, there is a gigantic black cow (probably fiberglass) as a sign of some sort north of Salt Lake City. It was always a highlight of the trip if we were driving past that during daylight hours, because Chloe went berserk and made us laugh. Ruptured our eardrums with her excited high-pitched barking, but it was fun.
She knows to watch in certain areas when we are driving to town, because cattle may be close enough to the road to get excited about. As another side note, she is noticeably more excited about black cows than brown ones. I'm curious about that. If we are driving in unfamiliar territory, she watches open fields much more closely than forests. She's pretty smart.
Chloe has learned what "the other side" or "over here" means. If she is watching for cows out the starboard side, "over here" will bring her instantly to port. Like I say. She's pretty smart.
So we were driving to Missoula some weeks back, and there are quite a few herds of cattle sprinkled about between home and the city. Chloe was on high alert the whole time and having a grand time, barking her fool head off like the cows care what she has to say. Let me say right here that I do get tired of this game, as she barks at whatever level of decibels it is that makes your ears ring, and I get weary of the constant whining and huffing she does until she gets close enough to one to bark at it.
We're driving along beside a long field, lousy with cattle, and Chloe is just having a grand time barking, whining and whooping, but they're all a ways back from the road. Up ahead, I noticed a few cows standing right next to the road, crowded against the fence and well within good smelling distance for Chloe. I said, "Roll the window down just a bit for Chloe and let her smell them."
Sweet Hubs pushes the button to let the window down a bit, Chloe sticks her head out the crack and SHUTS UP.
Not a whimper, not a huff. No sound at all.
For all these years, and all these many miles, this whole entire time, she's been bluffing!!!
Chloe doesn't realize that she has now shown me her Achilles's Heel. Hushing her never worked because she was just too wound up and in the moment to hush. Now all we have to do when we can't stand her bravado anymore is roll down the window.