I have been sorely remiss in blogging; but my excuse is, I’m just busy! Somehow, blogging is falling down, and off, the priority list; but I’ll try to do better!

Still the biggest focus of my farming efforts is growing this silly pup into a good guardian dog. Bronte, sadly, passed already (I’ll save that topic for another post), so this “li’l” pup is needing to grow up fast and fill big shoes. But, growing she is; as you can see, she’s nearly as big as Moses already, and he’s a 100 lb dog. She is now eight months old. I’ve officially named her Brinsa. Though, often I find myself calling her “Woojee Toodle,” and my husband refers to her as “Dum Dum”; so I imagine one of those two dumb names will stick.

She is doing fine, maturing as expected (glacially!!). There was definitely a disturbance with the death of Bronte, the pup regressed back into a feral state in subsequent weeks, and I was back to working on just being able to touch her again. But this has improved, and her sweet self is now seeking out petting again. I have been strategizing for weeks how I might best approach getting her microchipped and vaccinated for rabies. One option was to pay the vet to come for a farm call, but I worried that it would be a day that I couldn’t catch the pup, and the plan would be dashed. I had a few “maintenance” items for the other three dogs, so I decided to make an appointment for all four, and if the pup wasn’t catch-able that day, so be it.

I snared her in the morning after she ate her meal. Armed with lots of string cheese rods for treats, I asked Moses to come along to help guide the pup into the barn. It was a wrestling match the whole way, with the pup panicking and trying to escape my grip, me dragging her for every step. Victory was mine when I slammed the garage door behind her. I let them spend several hours in the barn so she could decompress before the next step. I returned later to find them comfortably lounging in the day’s hay ration.

For transport, I managed to stuff her into a 400 crate in my van. This was the first, and last, time she will fit in a 400 crate. I inserted her butt-first, as I was pretty sure she couldn’t turn around in there. It was a squeeze, but the vet is only 20 min away. Crate travel is definitely safer, so I didn’t feel too bad about the small hardship imposed.

The border collies have their own permanently secured 300 crates in my van, and I had Moses ride loose. I have never invested in giant-breed crates for the LPDs, because I transport them so rarely. At the vet, I brought the three “tame” dogs into the exam room together, and left the pup in her crate in the van. Moses was nervous, the border collies were thrilled; the like veterinarians and all the treats they dole out. All were panting madly and the room was like a sauna with all those bodies and energy. Hay and hair and drool covered the floor by the end of the appointment. AtTheVet

The collies needed their rabies booster shots. I had blood drawn on Maggie and Moses, for monitoring since they are on NSAIDs for arthritis. I had the vet biopsy a fatty lump on Gene (which turned out to be mast cell cancer, so she’s gotta go back to have that removed).

Next, we tackled the pup in the van. I had the vet and the tech crawl in, we shut the van door, then extracted the pup from her crate. She was frozen-helpless, which made maneuvering her difficult. A quick exam (heart sounds perfect!), a chip and a vaccine, and we stuffed her back in her crate. When I got home, I unloaded her and Moses back into the barn and had them wait a while, so she could calm down and re-orient. Then I leash-led her, with Moses tagging along, dinners in hand, back into the field.

I was taking no chances on her bolting for escape and being impossible to catch in an open area. My sensitivity to this possibility was high, because of this:


I had seen this cute little dog last week when I was down doing some work at our drainage district pump station. He was kicking around inside the pump plant fenced area, but was quick to slip under a gap in the chain link if I tried to approach. He had an IV port taped up on his leg, which aroused my suspicion about why he was loose, out in the middle of a bunch of farm fields. I tossed him the remains of a sandwich I had left in my car, but he wasn’t interested. I called the pump station manager, but by the description, he thought this was a dog that lived nearby and was always at large around there. So, we didn’t worry about it.

I didn’t see the lost signs until the next day. I called the owner. It turns out, she had left him with the local vet for diagnostic work, suspecting he was gravely ill. They took him outside to go potty on a leash, and he escaped. The pump plant is a couple of miles from the clinic, so he had moved far, fast. They had been searching all over our valley already, even with a tracking dog. I, and one other person, had seen him. A few days later, the owner made contact with him on Lord Hill, but he was freaked, she couldn’t catch him. They had set live traps, but he didn’t fall for it. A few days after that, he was spotted on highway 522, several miles further still. A police officer tried to catch him, or drive him off the road, but was unsuccessful and Buddy was hit and killed. ;-(

The owner told me he was a semi-feral, very skittish dog. So I have no idea what the vet office was thinking taking him outside on a leash in an unsecured area. But it’s a sad reminder that we all need to be careful. In conversations with my vet about this, I realized they also take dogs outside to potty on leash. So now I know- I need to ask that they not do this, at any vet I patronize. Even my socialized dogs can get freaky when left with someone they don’t know; and they are often more reactive after they’ve been poked and prodded at a vet’s office. I’d honestly rather have the vet leave the dogs kenneled, and have the dogs either hold it all day, or poop in their crates, than risk losing them on a busy city road. So thus my caution in doing “operation vet in the van” – to make double sure that pup couldn’t escape us.

So for now, we are set for a while in not needing any more vetting. This pup can return to her regularly scheduled shenanigans of mole excavation, chewing up items she finds, leaping, sprinting, splashing, chasing, eating, and barking at way too many things.

You’ve got a long ways to go, baby…