Sunday, September 27, 2015

Maremma LGD's and Other Sundry Things...

It's been busy around here, more or less. Heath is growing up fast and showing what he is made of. 
I've always made him stay in the yard when I went out to feed, because he is too little and I don't want the sheep to hurt him and blow his confidence, or see him kicked by a cow or horse. Plus he loves to pop his front feet at the laying hens and make them run off squawking.
One afternoon, the Maremmas were in having a day off. I didn't see Heath sneak past me. They did though. He made a bee-line for those sheep and they made a bee-line to intercept him. Mr Potamus put himself between the sheppie and the sheeple while Bruno distracted him, offering himself as a sacrifice, being chewed on and abused, for the sake of his honor.
Potamus stood between the sheppie and the sheeple

blocking Heath's access to the sheep, which he has now forgotten

...because he is busy gnawing on Bruno...

...but they haven't forgotten him...

and Bruno brings him back to me...

Once again, the Maremmas demonstrated their unique style of protection and independent thinking. Instead of attacking the pup, which they knew was mine, they blocked and redirected his attention, thereby protecting my sheep, and my pup, while still accomplishing their objective. These same dogs that were so careful to cause  no harm don't hesitate to take on a cougar if it tries to breech their perimeter.

When they aren't actively preventing calamities, they engage in a lot of playful wrestling...

Notice there are never any teeth showing. They have always been careful not to injure one another, but the play is still rough and very fierce...

My son and his wife and six children came for a visit. It was GREAT to see them all and I especially enjoyed the weekend. They stayed busy doing target practice, riding around to see the ranch, feeding calves, putting shelters back together, moving meatie chickens, bathing Scottie, doctoring and marking sheep, and taking down the greenhouse, along with other things. 

Heath loved having the kids here and was especially taken with one little girl. It made his day when she would wake up in the morning and come to see him.

They actually wore him out. First time we've ever seen it....

All in all, it was a very good month.

I ruptured my bicep, so it will be a bit more difficult to do things for awhile, again, but Heath has been pitching in and helping to put the 54 meatie chickens away in the shed at night. One was injured when she was moved from the brooder to the shed, as the other chicks all piled up on her and she has difficulty walking or balancing now. He has been very disturbed by this, and yesterday, to my surprise, he went out and got her, and brought her to me in the house. She was none the worse for wear for his having picked her up and carried her all the way in here and is currently residing in a small rabbit cage in the house where he can feel satisfied she is doing ok, although she is not likely to survive as she gets bigger and gains more weight.

He's been doing a bang-up job taking care of the little flock in the back yard. However, I had to draw the line this morning, when he decided to separate the small "bonus chick" that was sent with them, who is a barred black and white and does not match the others. He then attempted to carry Magoo, the blind duck into the house. I've been trying to explain to him this is not an avian hospital and we do not segregate our chickens...never a dull moment here.


  1. It sounds like Heath is going to be just as much fun grown up as he has been in puppyhood! I think it's funny that he notices when an animal is different--blind, disabled, odd-looking. It sounds like he could have a second career as a therapy dog!

    Your Maremmas are delightful! They remind me a lot of our Pyr, Misty, who would probably love having someone her own size to wrestle with. She outweighs our other "big" dog by his weight again and my Sheltie by four times his size, so she doesn't really have a peer!

  2. Ha, I just realized that's kind of a pun--our peerless Pyr! ;)

  3. Lol - congratulations on raising a natural chicken sorter :-)
    Now just teach him to sort them by gender and he can get a job sorting chicks!

    1. He has definitely taken ownership of the meaties...heaven forbid any of them should walk funny, or they find themselves carried up here to the house by a concerned sheppie...

  4. Heath cracks me up, he just wants to be an LGD, too!
    Sorry to hear about the bicep injury , ouch. :(
    How wonderful to have son and family visit. You got some work done and they had fun! Apparently Heath enjoyed the visitors, too! I love that they wore him out. LOL

  5. Hi petey always love your blogs. The way you tell them makes me feel like I am there. Thanks for sharing. Nadine (AR)

    1. Great to hear from you, thanks for stopping by!