Friday, June 12, 2009
Nana has lived here on the farm with us for nearly 6 months now. Half a year of awesome wiggle-tail, big sloppy kisses, crazy skidding-in-for-a-landing big dog fun.
In that time, she's been run over by the truck. (She suffered no harm at all... far less harm in fact that the husband who ran over her, and was convinced that she was dead). I'm telling you folks, she was standing at the door, wagging her tail, when I went out to check on the reported 'dead dog'.
She's been bit by a copperhead and suffered a swollen, wop-sided face... sort of like a bad day at the dental clinic gone wrong. The fact remains to be seen if she learned the 'lesson' of copperheads.
She's killed an other creature or three, mainly by lovingly sitting on them until they no longer breathed. Her dismay when bringing you these creatures was touching, right up till the time she learned that chickens, once they are not breathing, can be considered a snack. If I'm in the yard when she catches an 'escapee', she will carefully 'squash' the chicken, until she can get a single foot in her mouth, and then gingerly bring it to me. She forks it over without complaint. We're working on this habit.
Generally, she is mannerly (when she's concentrating on it) and very tender and sweet. Playfulness comes at a price... she's big enough to bowl me over with a single playful jump, though she only does it when 'playing'... not as a surprise attack while I go about my chores.
Being sat upon and slurped about the head and shoulders brings new meaning to a 'spit bath'.
She behaves beautifully when out in 'public', responds to verbal and hand signals, and is extraordinarily good when approached by strangers. She's learned to walk (vs pulling) on a harness and ride in the car (not her favorite thing to do, by the way!).
So... today, I cleaned out the dog pen, which has been functioning as an overflow pen for the juvenile chicks. It was wretchedly stinky, as we've had so much rain that it's been neglected.
(Sorry, but it's true!) I pulled the smaller bird cages out into the grass, to enable the chicklets to have a bit of nature and sunshine. I, naturally, got sidetracked. When I cycled back around to that side of the place, this is what I saw...
Ahem... Should I speak or watch?
Hmmmm... she's thinking... "exactly what is my job, here?"
"OH! I remember! I'm a guard dog!~"
Yeah! for Nana, our big goofy girl. Her booming voice in the night, when a strange car lingers too long... her loud thump and long sigh, when she settles against the front door for the night... that amazingly ridiculous dog-grin each and every time she sees you.... and the wag-wiggle of that little short tail.
She's exactly what we needed!
*** Remember, this dog came from a city pound! There are many like her, waiting on homes, many with short 'dates'. If there's room in your family, consider a pound animal before all others. Be ruthless in making a choice, given what you're able to provide and do and what the animal needs. I went everyday for a week and spent much time considering the dogs available in light of our needs here on the farm.***