The first time we saw Taffy we thought she was maybe a guinea pig, or a long-haired bat, or… ?
“Is that a rat in the back of the cage?” Kanute wrinkled his nose in distaste. Pet rats and mice have never been our scene. Feral rodents have caused too much damage on our farms to even vaguely appreciate them.
“It’s a guinea pig. Definitely,” I said, but on closer inspection, huddled dejectedly in the far corner, the black fur ball was… “A dog!” I exclaimed. “A tiny little puppy.”
Fitting comfortably into my cupped hands, the only way to tell front from back was when her little pink tongue came out to lick anything in sight. Possibly only five weeks old, Taffy desperately needed a mother. Some moist-eyed coercion later, Kanute reluctantly agreed to my plea, “just one more… we have SO much space”, and following a cuddly hour+ trip home, bonding was complete between new mother and daughter.
Kanute wanted to call her ‘Scruffs’ but that was too awful and derogatory for this tiny darling. A compromise was reached as her true nature emerged—that of a thief—and she earned her name thanks to the old rhyme…
Taffy was a Welshman,
Taffy was a thief,
Taffy came to my house,
And stole a leg of beef
I went to Taffy’s house,
Taffy wasn’t home,
And all that was left,
Was a bare beef bone.
In short order you could shout ‘Scruffs’, ‘Scruffy’ or even ‘Hey you’. The name mattered not—she would always come, wagging her tail in helicopter fashion, smiling from ear to ear. ‘Scruffy’ WAS the most faithful description of her nature… and appearance more often than not. Especially as she emerged from the cow’s drinking trough – her idea of a bath after a wade-through of the dairy dirt-yard full of unmentionables. Then, at shearing time she saw her life’s mission was to protect us from those vicious sheep – by furiously barking beneath the slatted floor of the shearing shed.
But the day she stole my heart completely, I was trying to return an amorous, absconding bull to his personal paddock from the hill road alongside our farm. Taffy saw my dilemma when he turned on me and my small car, pawing the ground and snorting heavily at both of us. She came racing across the paddock below faster than a speeding black bullet. With no thought of her own precious little self, she confronted him and when all else failed, latched onto his tail, swinging from side to side, amazingly ducking his vicious kicks and ignoring his enraged bellows.
In minutes, he was on the run, with the terrifyingly tenacious Taffy hot on his heels all the way. What a saviour, and what a love fest we enjoyed that day and every other of the many days of her life.
If ever there was a love thief, it was Taffy.
And a link to ALL of the podcasts so far –