02 May 2011

Callie, bugs, and our walks

Callie goes crazy when she sees a fly, spider, or moth on the living room ceiling. She can spot one long before we ever notice the bug sitting there. You have to wonder how her eyes perceive the broad expanse of white ceiling. Does it look like sky to her? Outside, she reacts about the same way when she sees the moon, or the sun through clouds when it looks to her, I think, like the moon.

Callie the red border collie — she came
to live with us 4 years ago this week

She doesn't just notice the bug and stare at it, however. She has a special squealy whine she produces only in these moments. If either one of us gets a fly swatter and tries to chase the bug way, then Callie goes really wild. Her bark is with ear-piercing. She's been known to jump up on the furniture in her mounting excitement. She's totally out of control. As soon as the bug is captured, killed, or chased away, she calms back down immediately.

Callie watching me from her spot among the vines

Callie and I take a walk in the vineyard every day. One day we go out in the afternoon, and the next we go out in the morning. That's the schedule, ad infinitum. On the afternoons and mornings when I don't go on the walk, Walt does. It's a schedule we worked out years ago, and we both like it. Callie of course likes it. We humans each get one walk a day, and she gets two. I know Callie never gets tired of it, and I don't either, really.

This is Callie looking back and saying:
"Are we going this way today?"

She loves to run through the vines — not just up and down the rows, but also across them, under the support wires and vine canes. Sometimes she disappears from view behind all the green leaves, but I think she always knows where her human companion is. She also tries to lead the walk, deciding which path or direction she wants to go on. But she doesn't mind when one of us decides on a different course. She always follows, even it's at a distance.

Look at these pictures from early May and early June 2007...


  1. Callie has such an amazing personality! I love to see the pictures of her!

  2. I love to hear about Callie, too :)


  3. She is beautiful and full of personality and still very young.

  4. Lovely pics Ken... makes me very BC broody. My BC used to behave in exactly the same way with insects in the house. As he could easily clear the kitchen worktop, we were very careful to try not to leave anything lying arund.
    Oh, when you and Walt walk him at the same time, does he follow instinct and try and herd you?
    My first wife and I used to deliberately walk further and further apart if the walk time or distance was limited by some factor or another. That way Jake used to get a long walk whilst trying to round us up.

  5. Your house guests enjoy those walks too.

  6. Amazing how fast the vines have leafed out. And of course, Callie is lovely.

  7. I wonder what it is about the bugs that gets her so excited.

  8. Shame you find you have to kill the bugs, what harm are they doing? Can't you catch them and let them out?

  9. Anonymous, why don't you reveal your identity? At least use a "handle" or nom de plume so that we can know it's you instead of just another random Anonymous commenter. Are you the same Anonymous who commented on stair height?

    We try not to kill bugs on our white ceiling. If you knew how much effort went into getting that ceiling painted (four coats!) you'd understand why we don't want bug blotches on it!

    Tim, I'm not sure Callie's herding instinct is very strong. Or she hasn't been properly trained.


What's on your mind? Qu'avez-vous à me dire ?