This one is a Throwback from September 2008! Enjoy!
Oh, this was so funny. Let’s see if I can “nutshell” it! Well the story goes like this…
First a little background: For those of you have read some about me you would already know that we have a lot of dogs, 1 Pomeranian and 4 Aussies. 3 of the 4 Aussies are in various stages of TRAINING for herding. Obviously much of it is instinctual, but for those of you who are not familiar with the aspects of herding training, it is basically fine tuning the natural instinct to work in your favor so the dogs can help you do “chores” around the home with livestock, etc. Some take it to greater heights (which I actually plan to do eventually) and go to herding dog trials. So with that said, let me introduce my herding dogs (in order of acquisition and training levels). I’m also going to give each dog a rating as to their level of herding, on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being very little experience and 5 Moderate experience, so then 10 being Expert Level.
Herding Dog #1: Ocean (a.k.a Lady in Blue and/or Play Police)
Level 6 to a possible 7, she has had a fair amount of training and handling, but with sheep mostly. Goats and ducks are a little different and require a different kind of working skills. She is doing well with the ducks and the other day as you will read in the story of the “New Goats Part 2” she helped me out of quite a pickle, just as herding dogs should do.
Herding Dog #2: Ty (a.k.a. “Ze’ev Gadol” or Big Wolf for those of you who do not know too much Hebrew, also a.k.a. Mudbug as in crawfish, he’s red btw)
Level 5 in instinct ONLY, he hasn’t quite learned to work for me and he doesn’t like when I holler too much, which I really don’t do, but he seems to think I do. If I am not looking or around he will “get down to business” and try to collect any stray animals he finds. He has what it takes, his father is a herding champion and his mother is aspiring to do the same. It’s a matter of getting him to learn to work for me. He still has some growing up to do.
Herding Dog #3: Ronen (a.ka. Spaghetti, it’s he long legs and big puppy paws that earned him this name from me, also. Actually he has several names, although at the moment I can not remember them all. I do also call him Little Wolf, or Ze’ev KTZAT because he is Ty’s [and Ocean’s] son).
Ok, with the intro over I will now say that our property is not completely fenced as of yet, and it might not ever be on our watch as we may not be staying at this residence due to some more issues. So we’ve been having issues with a couple of stray dogs AND my neighbor’s 2 “curious” dogs have been over too many times to count now that we are AWARE of, in other words, they come by a lot more than they should. They sneak around because I have made it quite clear that we don’t want them here on our property. So they stay away when we are outside. Well my hubby has been largely opposed to getting and LGDs because of the extra cost of feed and so I have made our canine crew all around guardians, which they are great guard dogs anyhow. So we split them into a day and night shift. My older female Aussie (the non herding one) and our male Pomeranian get the night shift. At night we put the goats and ducks into a smaller pen and close them up and then put the Pom and Aussie team in the “barn yard” for the night to guard. It’s worked out great so far. They bark and warn us and have helped us figure out the times our neighbor’s dogs come over in the wee hours of the morning! Oy vey! Lately it’s been 4 AM!! Then in the day time after a morning romp I tie the other 3 Aussies in strategic points in the yard. They have a good line of site and warn us if they see anyone or anything come up or near the property. It’s been working out well. Ok so… here is the story about :
Rosh Hashanah/Yom Teruah and the First Great Goat Escape
This particular day, Ty had gotten in trouble and was inside in his kennel. Ocean was tied nearest the goat pen so she could watch both the front and back of the barnyard area. Ronen is tied, when you walk out the door, he is on the right in a cluster of trees, and Ocean again is on the left in a cluster of trees nearest the goat pen and the vehicles. One of our vehicles had a minor mechanical issue that my dh hadn’t had the time to sort out due to a rigorous work schedule and on the impending eve of Yom Teruah our Messianic fellowship was having a timely gathering. Arrangements had been made for someone to come by our home and pick me up and later in the evening my dh was going to come and pick me up after he was released from work. He’s had 3 going on 4 weeks of rigorous work. Please pray that he will be released from that soon so he can be freed to think of the season we are in leading into Yom Kippur! Thank you for that. So… some hitches had come up with the pick up arrangement and at the last minute I had to re-arrange the situation. Now instead of our Pastor’s wife picking me up, it was going to be our Pastor coming to pick me up. Oy vey, he is very punctual and likes to stay on schedule. This is great, but I have quite an extensive program to “shut down” in order to go to bed at night, let alone getting ready to actually go somewhere. I had to “button up the farm” AND manage to get myself and my dd ready to go to this wonderful service. I began work immediately. First we fed the baby bunnies (normally we feed them last, but not today) the smaller baby bunny Spot didn’t look good… 😦 we’ll be keeping a close watch on that little one. Then we bathed, then fed the dogs, cats, fish, turn off the fish light. After that we would switch the day shift dogs for the night shift dogs, bringing the day shift into crates inside, but that would be at the very last. So we are feverishly running about, good thing I had already made the dishes we would be taking with us earlier in the day. As I am running about I glance at the time and am trying in my mind to gauge how long it would be until the Pastor would arrive. I realized, oh my, I am behind schedule. Since we fed the bunnies earlier and then bathed, we were about 45 minutes off our normal schedule for feeding the goats. Well then I heard this sound… Du-duh-du-dum… what was that?? I think there is no way the Pastor can be here already!! I peek out the peep hole in the door and see … nothing! I only see the usual: my car, the driveway, some trees, etc. I shrug it off and continue at my feverish pace, getting ready so I can get out and feed the ducks and goats, then do the changing of the guard. Again… I hear Du-duh-du-dum!! I could be reminiscent of someone closing a car door and maybe even walking up the steps, although the dogs were not barking… well there was a bark, but it was not a guard bark. It was Ocean kind of barking a complaining (?) kind of bark. This time I think, well, maybe the Pastor was here, but in his car parked just out of site of the peep hole in the door. So I decide, I’ll open the door so I can more clearly view the driveway in its entirety. I do so and I see nothing in the driveway, but in my peripheral off to the left, near the goat pens, right near where Ocean is stationed I see a goat bottom!!! Immediately I investigate further with my eyes! I see Ocean at the end of her tie-out looking at me, whining a little. I can see almost what she is thinking, “um, Mom, what am I supposed to do?” I look off behind her and in the cluster of trees she is tied to there is a dogloo and I hear the noise again, this time much clearer du-duh-du-dum !! I see the 2 little bucklings trying their best to jump on top of this dogloo. They have 2 in their enclosure they can run to for cover and stand and play king of the hill on, etc. Although the 2 they have are newer models and are much easier to jump atop. While this one they must dream always about how they can breach the top of this mighty mountain of a dogloo. It is an older model and has a steeper dome and is a slightly different shape than the ones they are used to in their pen. So there they were, within TOTAL reach of Ocean. Those that know Ocean, know she is quite formidable. She is the guardiest, scariest, of all our dogs dog. She is one you don’t want to meet in a “dark alley” she is our dog Alpha, although I am healthily respected as Master, if I’m not around they all immediately look to Ocean and she takes her job VERY seriously. So here she was with these naughty little goats trouncing all over her dogloo and she didn’t even touch them. She just was barking at me (remember the barks I heard… complaining or tattle-telling apparently) to let me know I needed to do something about my little naughty boys! What a GOOD GIRL! Sometimes she does make me remember why we decided to keep her so many years ago. She was a scared little rescue off the street, just a young girl. Right around 1 year old. She’s now about 6 years and it has been a bumpy ride. Perhaps I’ll write another blog about her. I believe Abba sent her to us, for many reasons… to teach us many lessons. Well I escorted the little boy goat duo back to their pen and this time I LATCHED the gate. It was closed, but we normally clip it to ensure they can’t flip it open like they did! So I finished my routine, the Pastor came and did have to still wait about 10 minutes and we went to the service. It was wonderful, plus I had a funny story to tell!
Comment on this story 2015:
It’s funny to see how many things have changed since this time. This was at a home in Seguin, TX. It’s nice to see how the dogs have improved in their skill since this time. Time sure flies.
Ocean mentioned above has gone from being tough and ruthless to rough and is now toothless. We don’t know her exact age as she is a rescue but we estimate her to be about 11-12 years old.Ty is going on 9 this November, Ronen just turned 8, and Chase is our current oldest at age 14. Wow!~ 🙂
Until next time – Yah bless!