one cute livestock guardian in progress

Exploring her new domain:

She’s nine weeks old, and somewhere around 25-30 lbs. Too small to get out of the field fencing, which is just as well. We finished fencing the barnyard for her on Saturday & Sunday, and then picked her up on sunday. She was the less-dominant, less-assertive of the two female dogs that were left in the litter, but although the other one was a big bundle of love-charm, she also seemed like a big bundle of trouble, so we opted for the calmer dog.

this one is a love sponge:

She helped me and Alan in the garden all afternoon. Here she is in Alan’s new cold-frame bed.

eating mud.

I suspect we have a real mud-loving dog here. She certainly is calm to the point of lazy during the afternoon. even laid down in her water dish. happily, she’s an outdoor dog.

here she is helping some more, with mud on her face:

and, late in the afternoon, Alan described her as Lonely Pants. her first day away from her mom, aunt, and many siblings, after all. She was lonely last night, and ecstatic when i went out this morning to say hello. made of wiggle. i have never raised a puppy, as perhaps you can tell.

She responded perfectly when we introduced her to a rabbit and to Tattersall, though! meeting the obviously-hostile cat, whom i had locked immobile in my arms, Thistle averted her eyes, put her tail down, and walked away in a slight circle; glanced back to him and did it again. she repeated this a few times. obviously letting him know that she was not hostile, while my behavior towards her let the cat know that the dog is part of the family now. I think the dog got the message a lot faster, and that the cat grudgingly accepted the idea by the end of the encounter. he didn’t run away–backed up a few feet when i let him go, and bristled, but didn’t run off. She’s bigger than he is, but not by much—and she is much less agressive. :) she’s a calm dog. at nine weeks old, i think this bodes very well for our happy future raising livestock with her help. she and the chickens barely noticed each other, they were so completely fine. she sniffed the rabbit when Alan brought out the one adolescent rabbit we’ve dubbed “Catchable” (distinguishing him from his littermate, Uncatchable—Catchable has gotten downright friendly in the last week). Thistle made no aggressive moves toward the rabbit, and the rabbit did not act at all worried. They sniffed noses and seemed generally fine with each other. Thistle needs to meet all the animals she’ll be expected to care for, now while she’s young. And i want her to understand that our cats are part of the family, and that she’s not to harm them, too, which seems best impressed upon her now. She responded admirably. I was impressed.

She also dug out last night, rather cleverly. She’s smart. Luckily Jenny was awake enough to deal with it. Anybody want to loan us a goat (or another well-behaved dog) for a few weeks while we train the dog not to be lonely (or bark) at night?