Farm Dogs

A lot of bloggers have a feature they call "Friday Pet Blogging". Well, it's not Friday, but it dawned on me that I've never really posted any good pictures of our dogs. Well, OK, I posted once about Willie, and talked about his singing ability. Which, incidentally, he still has. But I've never posted anything about Boo - and we just got Cubby two weeks ago. So without further ado...


Willie, 6 Aug 2006

Willie's grown just a bit in the three plus years we've had him. He's a Sheltie-Corgi mix, and the only dog we've ever purchased from a pet shop. Sharp as a tack, and still sings (as mentioned above). In fact, it turns out that Willie will sing along with any choral music - Yuletide gets a bit noisy around here, what with Willie joining in every carol he hears! He's kinda neurotic, though, but that's OK - fits right with the rest of us!


Boo, 6 Aug 2006

Boo is not exactly our dog - technically he belongs to my youngest daughter, Hilary, and will allegedly be going home with her, once she moves back to Indiana (she's currently in Minnesota). He was always understood to be a temporary addition - from the time he got here, in July of 2004! She still hasn't paid me for the dog food he's eaten, and at 125 pounds, he can do some serious eating! He's about 8 years old, according to the vet, and a Great Dane/Dalmatian mix.

He also has a bit of an interesting history: Hilary found him wandering Camp Lejeune. North Carolina, after the Marine units there deployed to Kuwait (and eventually, of course, to Iraq) in January of 2003. Somebody left Boo behind - just turned him loose and let him go.

Hilary takes a good deal after me, including a real soft spot for abandoned animals. She took him in and and tried to no avail to find his owner. So she claimed him. He's really gentle, great with the kids and remarkably well trained. He's not the brightest light bulb in the chandelier, though, and our other critters will use this to their advantage on occasion!


Cubby Behind the tree, 6 Aug 2006

Cubby, a pure bred Border Collie bitch, is our newest addition to the pack. We got her two weeks ago yesterday. She's not hiding in this picture - she's herding chickens!

Cubby herding a chicken, 6 Aug 2006

She came from from Crowded Byre, as payment for watching their farm while they were on vacation. She's a little over a year old. Tim had sold her once, to a lady who returned her as a completely broken dog. She wouldn't tell Tim what happened, but Cubby was useless for herding, and so frightened of nearly everything that she was almost unworkable at all. Tim kept her around because he was out of his two favorite dogs, and because she'd been very "stylish" when he was training her. The first couple of days we took care of the dogs down there, Cubby hid, and was a real pain in the butt for us. But on the third day, a pop up storm came up, completely freaked her out, and she ran to Kris for protection. After that, she'd hardly leave our side when we were down there.

We mentioned this to Tim, and he offered her to us immediately, saying he couldn't sell her again as she would never be a herding dog - she'd lost the "eye", he thought, and would never herd anything again. Kris said no, two dogs were plenty for us, but when I went down to get eggs the following weekend he offered me $50 to take her, as he didn't want to put her in a shelter and see her destroyed. So, old softie that I am, I brought her home. And the extra $50.

She's doing really well, too, despite Tim's prediction and that of every other Border Collie breeder we talked with. We just brought her in the house and treated her like one of our house dogs, and within a few days she was creeping after the chickens and running them into the hen house. She's starting to respond to the commands, and has been eying the sheep...

So not only do we have another house pet, we're getting a herding dog out of the deal, too. It's really useful to have some help getting the hens back in at dusk, and hopefully she'll be able to help get the flock in the paddocks by this winter. She's really sweet, and has warmed up to people immensely. We've taken her in the truck with us practically everywhere - she loves to ride - and have been introducing her to new situations daily. The therapy seems to be working well, and she'll be here for the rest of her life.

So there's the tale of our dogs: maybe I'll get energetic and do a bit on the barn cats next week. If I can find all of them to get photos, that is ...

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