Sunday, November 8, 2015

Gone to the Dogs

Someone keeps nagging me for more puppy pictures, especially of Bess.  Maybe this will quiet the whining for a few days.  Or hours.  Minutes anyway, at least.

Gone fish'n.  I this what you'd call a dry fly?

The Great White vs. Killer Whale?  Polar Bear vs. Orca?  Or is that a Wicked Tuna?  FB has a fondness for them.

These two are still best buds, although Bess is now double Connor's weight.  He still goes over to FB's while I am at work and they play and play and play....

and play, and play.....and play.

Connor is the fittest dog I have ever seen.  If you can get him to hold still long enough to pet him (and that's a big IF), you will feel that he is nothing but hard muscle and whipcord.  He eats 4-5 cups of food a day, plus some extras, and there is not a spare ounce on him. Between hiking with me, helping on the farm and playing with Bess, he must cover at least 30 miles a day - all at warp speed.

Bess has her crazy moments, but they are just that, moments.  The rest of the time she is very calm and sweet. 

She is proving to be an outstanding Livestock Guardian.  She has a very quiet, natural way with the sheep, who do not feel at all threatened by her.  She LOVES the sheep and is extremely dedicated to protecting them and the rest of the farm from marauding predators.

Bess is a great example of good genetics and a well rounded up-bringing.  Her way with the livestock and her guarding instinct are bred in the bone and come from generations of careful selection.  Her generally affable nature has been nurtured by abundant socialization and unlimited love.  The combination has made for a very sweet, hug-able, lovable guard dog who is endlessly gentle with people, dogs or livestock, but would tear a coyote apart. 

So many people think that LGD's should never be handled and they usually grow up as semi-feral dogs who are very difficult to handle.  Many of them are just outright dangerous to have around.  Bess blows that whole ridiculous notion of not handling your LGD right out of the water.

Personally, I believe that the whole concept is based on a faulty premise - that animals are not capable of recognizing the need to vary behavior based on circumstance and need.  Every animal I've ever known has been capable of making that distinction.  If they don't, it is always because of human interference.

Since I don't want to be accused of favoritism, I mustn't leave out the poor middle child.

Kelsey is not having the best of weeks as she was spayed on Thursday.  Kelsey is 6 1/2 and spaying is always harder on older dogs.  She has never had puppies and it has not been a big deal keeping it that way, but the vet insists it is better for her.  Maybe yes, maybe no.

Either way, it is done and, hopefully, Kelsey will be back to her normal, crazy, sweet self in a few days.

And....a couple of pictures of the old man....

.....just because.


  1. NOW you are on top of your game!!!

  2. The middle picture of the middle child is especially good! Kelsey will be looking like that again before we know it!

  3. A Dog's Life doesn't seem to bad afterall. Loved the Whale and Bess.

  4. Bess IS pretty cute ;-). And everyone else too! Great shots!

  5. Love seeing all your beautiful pictures! Hard to believe how big your dogs have gotten, just wow! I love that they've become best buds.

  6. Very true re them being able to distinguish different situations. Geez, I had people tell me they don't teach their show dog to sit or they'll sit in the ring, and this despite others around them with dogs competing in both show and obedience at the same time. I guess some people are less flexible than their dogs are capable of being!

  7. I agree with your comments on the LGDs for sure and oh so love your stressing the importance of genetics and careful selection. Too many folks go out and just get whatever pup some farmer has and then wonder why they got what they did (well Mom or Dad was a great guardian dog - but they've never seen anything BUT livestock and can't be taken to the vet because they are unsocialized). You are a breath of fresh air to be sure and I adored all of the dog photos.