Monday, May 18, 2009

The Lone Guardian and The Escape Artist

From a distance, all you see is a small, happy, herd of goats..........

But zoom in, and you will see WHY they are so happy. Bocephus! What a good boy! He is 17 months old now, all grown up and doing his job. He is just the best livestock guardian dog we could ask for. The goats trustingly follow him out to pasture each day. They come running back to their paddock if he barks the alarm. His bark, alone, keeps predators and stray dogs away from the barnyard. And by the way, he is GIGANTIC! I can pet his back without bending at all! And sweet and gentle as can be. He does chew up the stray halter if left in the barn. But we are learning to put them away. Other then that, he is the perfect farm dog!

Shani, on the other had, has abdicated every scintilla of guardian responsibility she ever felt for the goats and holds no loyalty to her brother what so ever. She has decided she is supposed to guard people instead. After spending their entire first year in the goat pen, we slowly allowed the dogs some freedom. For a while, all was well. But once Shani found our house, (a few of hundred yards from the barn), she never left. We tried everything to get her to stay back at the barn like her well behaved brother, but she has thwarted our efforts. She climbs fences and digs out of stalls and pens. She'll do what ever she has to do to get to the house so she can lay on the carport, waiting for us to come out. She spends her entire day in this spot and only goes back to the barn when we do.
What a little stinker! As of now, we have decide to let her hang out at the house during the day, but we have no choice but to put her back at the barn at night or we would never get to sleep. Remember, she is guarding us - from every single night time sound and movement. Bark! Bark! Bark! Thank you, Shani, but thanks! So, much to her dismay, she is spending her night time on a chain in the barn - the only form of confinement she has been so far unable to escape! Poor baby! We love you anyway!

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