Tanya's long beautiful fur sometimes clumps and mats and has to be shaved; picture an out-of-sorts ball of fur, awkwardly pinned and squeaking pathetically. Aries and Ondine were hovering nearby. I looked at Ondine and said in my quietest voice, "Would you mind going to bed for a while?" She looked at me and thought it over, and decided it was a good idea. She trotted off to the bedroom. I looked at Bren and said, "You know, that's a VERY good dog."
Later, after Bren was done with Tanya for the night (they were both tired, and it will probably take a couple more rounds to finish the job), Ondine came out of the bedroom and began nosing and nudging and nuzzling Tanya. She was behaving downright motherly. Ondine gets along with all the cats to varying degrees (she wrestles with Fawkes relentlessly, touches noses with Autumn once every evening, generally ignores Whiskers, etc.). Tanya adores her. She often rubs up against her and tells her all about her day. My impression is that they really want to hang out together, but they don't have many common interests. Cats don't do tennis balls or chew toys, you know.
At any rate, watching them together after the shearing got me wondering. I don't think sheep and sheepdogs ordinarily become friends, but maybe the relationship isn't always as antagonistic as it appears? Do shepherds allow their dogs to watch their charges being shorn? How do the dogs react? It certainly seemed to trigger Ondine's protective instincts. But then again, it could have been something much simpler altogether. Maybe Ondine was just being curious and cautious in the presence of obvious trauma, or she could have just been trying to puzzle out what happened to the rest of Tanya. You know, "Dudette, you're nae but half the kitty ye used to be!" (And yes, Ondine says stuff like "nae but." She is also good at maths, at least up to three.)