Moses arrived here in the spring of 2010, a middle-aged, retired show dog. His former owner sent him home with me in a most presentable form, fully bathed and groomed, ready for a show. Here is what he looked like upon arrival, fearfully meeting grubby Bronte:


In retrospect, the bath was a bad idea, as he was not waterproof for a few weeks, and got really wet when it rained. But it was mild weather, and he survived the short but difficult transition to farm life.

The first year he was here, he chose to use the dog houses a lot.


Now, I think he only uses them at night, and only when the weather is very inclement. Instead, he’s become just like Bronte, completely comfortable laying around out in the rain, and digging sleeping holes in the dirt.

He used to tiptoe around mud and any standing water, but now he doesn’t seem to mind getting dirty or wet. Here he is today, good and nappy, with all his natural curls coming to the forefront- there is no blow dryer here to straighten them out!

Moses is a good-as-gold kind of dog, he does not like getting in trouble or making anybody mad. He cheerfully comes when he’s called and will do anything for a treat. He’s pretty lazy and not real motivated to go anywhere. Once in a blue moon, he’ll get out because I’ve accidentally left a gate open; and all he does is poke around by the house. Neither dog is a get-out-and-run-the-neighborhood-causing-a-ruckus kind of dog, they mostly like the security blanket of home and familiarity.

But two weeks ago, he started sneaking out of his pasture through a gap under a gate. I have several of those gaps, but have always been successful at blocking them with a small panel secured with a bungee cord. I don’t know what had gotten into him, I kept fortifying the blockage, and he was still managing to dig under. By day three, he was a wanderin’ a little too much, and a family friend called another family friend, who called my parents to say he’d been spotted tootling around in the road! Not good, since cars drive fast and his vision isn’t good. My parents drove down and stuck him in the barn before I got home from work. (And thanks to A- and D- who called out of concern!)

I wanted to teach Moses a good lesson to nip this behavior in the bud, since it’s dangerous for him to get out. So, I electrified the gate. Smile It’s insulated by wood posts on either end, so a portable charger worked fine- I confirmed it was giving about 1200 volts. Not a lot for livestock, but plenty for a wimpy dog. 

I did it on a Friday night, so I could watch him attempt his morning escape on the weekend and confirm my plan worked. Indeed, this fixed his wagon. Amazingly, he tried twice more to dig under the gate. Both times sent him yelping across the entire field. He hates getting shocked. There have been no more escapes since.

Overall, he is a very happy farm dog and well suited to this place. He still doesn’t like the sheep a whole lot, and steals grain from them when he can. But he’s quick to bark at any coyote noises, or strangers on the road. Last night I got up to check, because the dogs were barking persistently at something. It was a policeman giving someone a DUI citation on the road. It was so quiet in the middle of the night, I could hear every word of their conversation from the house! Good guard dogs, nothing escapes their attention!