Torso Boy the Intrepid

I woke to the gentle lowing of cattle all around me – which would probably be kind of a WTF moment for most people but I’ve been expecting it. Alas I’m not hitting on all cylinders when I first wake up; I put my leg on while TB impatiently waited, forgetting all about the cattle by the time I was vertical. I unbarred the cabin door, ushered TB outside to have a pee – and he stopped stock-still on the top step while uncounted ghostly Welch ancestors downloaded detailed, precise and apparently outraged instructions into him: Cattle in the yard! Cattle are not to be in the yard!

Yeah, it wasn’t just one or two, either. A frickin’ herd of cows with calves – exactly the sort of thing I’ll drop what I’d been doing for, to encourage them to pass farther to the north so they don’t knock stuff over and shit all over my yard.

Anyway, Torso Boy was off with a mighty yap and a cloud of dust. And damned if he didn’t know just what to do, too.

Now, longtime readers know that Little Bear used to do this sort of thing from time to time. That was … different. He was a slave to his chase instinct, and when he got away from me I was in for an infuriating hour of trying to find my goddam dog again before some hostile desert animal or, you know, condition killed him.

But Torso Boy was never out of control. I hollered at him, of course, and he even paused and looked back at me as if to acknowledge the call but y’know, a Corgi’s got to do what a Corgi’s got to do, Uncle Joel. And then the sawed-off little shit dove right into the forest of legs: That way, ladies! Go down the driveway and begone, and take your brats with you!

The cows seemed to have a “dafuq is that?” moment as they tried to slowly get their bovine minds to process this very new thing: A dog is a predator and to be avoided, but they didn’t seem to recognize this as a dog exactly: Where are the legs? And what the hell is it doing? Then Torso Boy started nipping ankles, and they knew what to do about that. Time to leave.

And then, just when Little Bear would have been gone from sight and if possible the county, Torso Boy proudly trotted back to the porch triumphant. Mission accomplished. I honestly didn’t know whether to praise him or scold him.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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31 Responses to Torso Boy the Intrepid

  1. Kentucky says:

    TB has come into his own! All praise and honor for defending the home place from invaders! Extra cookie! 🙂

  2. DL says:

    Scold him??? WTF! Praise the dickens out of the little feller and offer up a succulent bounty worthy of such fine and bold behavior!

  3. Jean says:

    Praise, Praise, Doggy treats and more praise!

  4. Beaner49 says:

    Cows? Cows?
    We don’t need no steeking cows.

  5. WAYNE DYGERT says:

    Question: Will scolding change his behavior?

    Answer: Set against thousands of years of bred in instinct? Hell no! Confuse him? Oh yeah

    Solution: Let’s go with praise


  6. LibertyNews says:

    Sounds like TB is earning his keep!

  7. Bear says:

    Praise him. A lot. He did exactly what Corgis were bred to do: herd cattle.

  8. Joel says:

    😀 After consultation we did go with praise and reward. I figured what the hell, he did the job and came right back.

  9. Wish you had a video. I think it’s a hoot for a dog that small to be herding cattle, but it seems he’s good at it. Transition to desert hermit dog ongoing.

  10. Zelda says:

    Also wishing for a video. Next time cattle noises wake you up reach for the camera which is on your bedside table and preserve the action for all of us to enjoy. Especially the ankle nipping. That is amazing. Extra treats and eats and sustained praise for TB. What a wonderful dog for your deserrt hermit life.

  11. Charlotte Boord says:

    This may be your best Torso Boy post yet! Good on him!

  12. Claire says:

    Agree with Charlotte Boord — best Laddie post yet.

    Agree with everybody else and with the gods who created herding breeds — praise and cookies to a former city dog who instinctively knows a country dog’s job.

  13. Judy says:

    Bravo for clearing the yard! And three cheers plus his favorite treats for coming back!

  14. TK421a says:

    Watching Torso Boy do his thing is a lot easier than grabbing that homemade spear of yours and trying to move the bovine scourge along Joel. He did his thing and didn’t run away, that’s a good boy in my book. 🐕 👍

  15. Klaus says:

    Praise and nothing but. Instinct shouldn’t be punished besides he’s pulling his weight. Who’s a good boy?

  16. TS says:

    Good post. Good dog. Good laugh.

  17. czechsix says:

    As someone who formerly had a Corgi in the family….job well done, Laddie. Cookie time.

  18. SLee says:

    Love it! Go Laddie!

  19. says:

    Praise. And some treats. You don’t want cows around the abode and he handle it well. What’s not to like?

  20. Georgia says:

    That is great ! T.B finally knows his purpose on the Earth. Riding shotgun with you, and herding cattle for the rest of his days.

  21. BobF says:

    Bovine cud chewing conversation this evening in some other location:

    W T F was THAT this morning?????

  22. terrapod says:

    Your corgi has herding instincts just like a border collie. Concur with everyone else, praise and see if he does the same again next time you are overrun. After a few of these I suspect the cows will skirt your yard which is the goal, innit?

  23. matismf says:

    Did your pear tree survive the cow visit? Or was Laddie too slow in rousting them???

  24. doubletrouble says:

    “…while uncounted ghostly Welch ancestors downloaded detailed, precise, and apparently outraged instructions into him…”
    Best thing I’ve read in a long time- TB is a GOOD BOY!

  25. Charlotte Boord says:

    Me again. I’ve reread this post several times, its soooo good! I’m sure I’m not the only one who could vividly picture Laddie’s actions in our minds eye, and then I realized: Joel, you are a fantastic writer!

  26. Anonymous says:

    Charlotte, if you like Joel”s writing, you might consider buying his excellent books, Walt’s Gulch and Songs of Bad men and Good.
    Available here

  27. Darn, I forgot to put my name on that last post. Real person recommending joel’s books.

  28. Charlotte Boord says:

    Purchased all four last night.

  29. Malatrope says:

    The instinct to herd is unbelievable in some breeds. I had a border collie once who would turn around recalcitrant cows by leaping straight up in the air in front of them and biting them on the nose. Sorry, no video!

  30. Good boy! Who’s a good boy? Torso Boy is a good boy!

To the stake with the heretic!