In a recent post - "Tete a Tete," I described how Chloe wanted me to put the rope around her neck.
Today it became clearer what that was about.
We were entering the pasture from the barn paddock. Bridget went first; I took her halter off and re-shut the gate to prevent Bridget's egress while Chloe (who follows us at liberty) positioned herself for ingress. Chloe stopped in front of the gate and showed no interest in going through. I picked up the rope loop and asked her if she wanted to put it on. She was kindof like, "Ok, it's fine, whatever, if you like." So after putting it on and off a couple of times without Chloe seeming to care much either way, I left it off. And then Chloe relaxed, her eyes drooping; I stroked her neck while we enjoyed some quiet time.
I think that in the pasture with Miss Bridget enthusiastically breathing down our necks, Chloe felt like the rope represented a guarantee of safety - that if she was attached to the rope, I would keep Bridget away from her so that she could relax and enjoy some quiet companionship. However, today we were separated from Bridget by the fence, and she probably felt like the rope was unnecessary.