This morning we were startled to see that Laika was out in the field talking to the fox.
Perhaps we should backtrack just a moment and I could tell you that Laika is terrified of our cats, especially Sky. Sky doesn't much like Laika, but instead of sulking off in another direction, she routinely takes Laika on, hissing at her and even hurling herself at her if Laika hasn't already retreated. This generally eggs on the otherwise more easygoing Skittles and Night and all three of them jump on Laika at once. Laika mostly just cowers quietly as everyone screams, water bottles are produced, and the cats go away. Laika goes back in a
corner and refuses to come out.
On the other hand, Laika is not afraid of other dogs. She has several friends who routine walk by and whose owners let them off the leash so they can romp with the 120 pound puffball also known as Laika. Only once has Laika shown the slightest agression. A male dog was harassing her and jumping on her and nipping on her for quite a while before Laika finally bared her teeth at him. I can't deny that I was proud of her. Sometimes you have to stand up for yourself.
So, as we watched Laika with the fox, we had all that backstory (despite Colm Toibin's admonitions) to help us decipher what they might be talking about.
Laika: Nice tail, wanna play? I mean, you better go.
Fox: Thanks. Hey, could I just have one chicken?
Laika: I wouldn't try it if I were you, I always get yelled at.
Fox: (looking toward the house) Oh no, the people are coming!
Laika: What? Oh, they're all right.
Fox: If you let me catch a chicken, I'll leave you the feet.
Laika: I love chicken feet.
Fox: There's an extra gopher foot I left in that bush.
Laika: Wow, thanks, that's really nice of you. See you around.
Fox: (Anxiously looking at the approaching humans) Yeah, later.
But really, what do you do when your dog strikes up a conversation with a fox? We didn't really want to interfere. Laika was pretty clearly standng her ground. And we didn't want to startle either of them and provoke an incident. The fox probably couldn't do a lot of damage, but I'm sure it wouldn't be fun to get bit. But even worse, if Laika ran away from it, then that might embolden the fox to come closer to the chickens. In the end, as Laika looked like she was about to get up and come home, we went out to make sure the fox didn't interpret her leaving as a retreat. It went off into the forest.
I think the lambs are big (and fast) enough to be out of danger, but the sheep weren't acting very worried or paying much attention.