Kangal Dog Puppy

Kangal Dog Puppy

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Coyote thwarted, did her job

Last weekend I was woken at 2 am by Arie barking ferociously. It was continuous and it brought me out of my deep middle of the night sleep. I figured I'd better go check to see what was up.

After quickly getting dressed I stumbled out to the truck realizing I should have at least brought my shot gun but, in my sleepy fog I figured it was probably only a deer she was barking at so I continued on my way. As I drove out the headlights caught a familiar site, a coyote, and a big one at that. It was near one of our movable chicken pens and was making a hasty retreat. The fact that it was near the chickens made me angry so I took pursuit in the pickup truck. I quickly caught up to it and the coyote knowing it was in imminent danger took off like a shot. I should have slipped the truck into 4 wheel drive because my tires were spinning easily in the dew laden grasses. Nonetheless I got right on it's heals and pursued it for a good 8th of a mile zig-zagging across the field. It got away once we got to the fence line.

Upon inspecting the chickens I found that in the pen where I had first seen the coyote by there was a couple of dead chickens. That little rascal found a way to get them by reaching in through the wire with it's paw and pulling them to him where he could chew whatever he could get ahold of. One chicken had it's leg chewed off. Another had it head chewed off and two more were wounded. In the dark the chickens are sitting ducks. Too stupid to keep out of reach.

I wasn't very happy about the losses but, I was VERY happy with Arie. She did her job! She let me know something was up. If I hadn't come out I'm sure our losses would have been much greater.

So until we can better reinforce our movable pens we put them right close to Arie's 1 acre paddock, where she is now loose the entire night. The pens are within a couple feet of the fence. It would take a very bold coyote to try anything now. If a coyote came that close to the fence I'm pretty sure she would somehow manage to go over the fence to get to it.

I was going to put the pens right in with her but, Kelli reminded me that the goats might climb on them so that is why I put them next to where she is instead.

Arie doesn't miss much. She might bark allot but, now with hearing the difference between her casual barks with her serious barks I can better know what is happening out in the fields. When that coyote was out there she was dead serious and extremely intense.

She was on high alert the rest of the night. I know this because I sat out there in the pick up truck with my shot gun the remainder of the night. Arie never stopped running back and forth along the fence line all night long. I could see her running back and forth in the moon light. I finally went inside when the sun came up. But, Arie did her job, I couldn't be more happy.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

First night

I got some fly repellent for Arie because the flies have been plaguing her so badly. It's made for horses actually. It helps quite a bit, I'd say it keeps about 80% of them off of her, but they still worry her. She hates the sound of them buzzing around her head even when they don't land on her.

It's been hot out and when she frets over the flies all day, she gets pretty heated up. Earlier in the week when I got in from working I took her for a ride in the truck just to give her a break and to cool her down. She seemed to appreciate it.

Yesterday I took Arie to town with me. Now when I open the door on the truck she bounds right in to the back seat. Until recently most of the time she'd put her front feet up in there then wait for me to give her hind end a boost. But, now she especially likes going in the truck because it means getting away from those pesky bugs.

After, returning home from going to town it was getting toward evening, I kept Arie with me as I did the chores. By this time of the evening the flies aren't near so bad and it is nice to see her out enjoying the freedom and not hiding away. This is usually the time she emerges from her house to run about the one acre paddock. When I take her around with me I often keep her on a nylon lunge line which is a long line designed for training horses, this I was using last evening.

I've had a rule which I've adhered to for years to not ever, ever, ever tie a dog to the rear hitch of any kind of vehicle. We personally know of two different people who did this and accidentally drove away with their pets, resulting in one death and severe damage to the other. Until getting Arie to tie a dog to the hitch is just something I haven't done. But, as I take her around doing chores there's just been nothing else to tie her to so I have been doing that around the farm with her. I am just very, very careful to not be absent minded when I do it keeping much of my focus on her as I work. You might be wondering where I am going with this story but, rest assured it doesn't take a bad turn. Last night I had her tied to the rear hitch on my truck while I was carrying some buckets of grain. Some of the family was sitting at a camp fire with a friend and I heard my daughter call out to Arie kind of urgently. I dropped the buckets and came running to see that Arie was no longer tied to the hitch. The line was there but, she wasn't.

What happened is, she saw one of the cats and snapped the metal clasp like it was nothing when she hit the end of the line chasing after that cat. The lunge line is not a light weight thing it is made for horses. The line itself is made of heavy woven nylon and the clasp is heavy duty metal.

I ran around and found Arie circling the barn which the cat apparently had run into. She was on the hunt. When she gets aroused like that it seems like she doubles in size. An impressive site. Even though she was in hunt mode, she came right to me when I found her.

Well, that is the second time she's been loose and has made no move to run off which makes me happy. We used to have a dog a female Lab/Chow that whenever she got loose she would never come back unless I bribed her with food. I'm glad Arie isn't like that.

Arie has been doing well with the little flock of male sheep and goats and I've been thinking of letting her stay loose with them at night. I always put her in a smaller pen during the night because i haven't entirely trusted her with the livestock. However she has been doing much better and I have been considering her first night. I still haven't trimmed weeds around the electric fence yet and still do not have it turned on. So with that I have been holding off as well. But, after seeing how she didn't run off I thought maybe I'd try her out. So last night I did it and left her loose with the sheep and goats all night unsupervised.

This morning I woke up shortly after 4 and was wondering how it went, and I really hoped she had not found a way out of the paddock. I got up and looked out the windows scanning the area to see if she was loose. So far so good there was no site of her. So i got dressed and drove out to the paddock. At first I saw no sign of life, but then one by one I saw the sheep and goats curled up sleeping sound. I didn't see Arie any where and went to check her house to see if she was in there. I figured she'd be sleeping just as the livestock were. I opened the door and called her name but, to my chagrin she was not in there. My mind began to race, envisioning her spotting some critter out side the paddock in the night and finding a way to get out and take pursuit. She was no place I could see. By now, I thought, "if she was loose she would have found me" since she likes the truck and almost always comes running when she hears it.

I went into the paddock and looked down near the thicket by the pond hoping she might be down in there. I called her, whistled and clapped my hands, still nothing. My mind continued racing. I was trying to remember if she still had her tag on her collar, (it kept falling off) and if I actually marked her collar with contact info, which I have been meaning to do. I was beginning to form a plan for searching for her around the area, thinking of which neighbors to call first to see if they'd seen her. At what seemed to be the peak of my growing anxiety all of a sudden there she came bounding out of the thicket happy as a lark to see me. What a relief! I thanked God out loud and walked out to meet her. The first night was a success after all. The sheep and goats were good and well, with no evidence of any excessive playing. All went well and Arie seemed to thoroughly enjoy her first full night of freedom.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Flies and an 'escape'

Here Arie is trying to escape the flies.
They drive her absolutely bonkers. In this picture she is under this lean-to because I had made her come out of her house where she will stay during the entire day.

The flies have been bothering her for the past week especially. The problem is, she will stay inside ALL day long then at dusk she comes out and is raring to go ALL night long, barking incessantly.

I've been applying an herbal bug repellent but, they still buzz around by her which drives her crazy.

In the late afternoons I've been letting her out with the sheep and goats. She has been doing well with the four but then just before I turn in for bed I go out and put her in a smaller enclosure where she can go inside a pole building. The pole building is her "house" where she eats and sleeps. However during the past week she refuses to come out until it is almost dark and the flies are gone.

Several evenings ago when she was loose in the big paddock with the sheep and goats she escaped for the first time ever. I believe from hiding out ALL day long and sleeping most of that time she has a lot more energy now at night which may have contributed to her escape. I have had the electric fence turned off as well because I need to go around and trim some grass that has grown up on it. So the fact that the fence has been off didn't help either.

I always thought that if she ever got loose that I would have a hard time getting her back. Especially if she saw a deer I figured I might not ever see her again. Well, that night our daughter came to me and said she could hear something under her bedroom window. She thought it sounded like some kind of an animal. So I went to her window to see if I could hear what she had heard. It didn't take long and sure enough I heard the same thing, it was definitely an animal, then silhouetted in darkness I saw Arie's light tan body. It was Arie and she was loose!

I quickly ran out side and called her. To my relief, she came bounding up and greeted me enthusiastically! I began to pet her, telling her what a good girl she was and she rolled over, like she often does, to get a good scratching. So I led her to the truck and drove her back to the paddock.

I was glad that all the work I've done with Arie has paid off. She actually came when I called her which was surprising because out in the paddock she may or may not come when I call her. I suppose with her running free in an area she isn't real used to I probably was a familiar thing to her which probably gave her some reassurance.

A funny thing about Arie being out running around like that is, she found my collection of animal skulls that I keep out in the yard and she was playing with them. Now I realize that might sound like a strange thing, a "collection of animal skulls", but when ever I skin out an animal I keep the skull. Kind of a hobby of mine. But, thanks to the skulls, my daughter heard Arie out playing with them. And that is what she was doing when I looked out the window as well. It was quite funny really.

I don't know what actually prompted Arie to get out that night but, so far she has stayed in the paddock the past couple evenings even though I know she now knows how to get out. But, soon I'll have the electric fence going again and that should help.

I hope to install more fencing before the season is over.

On a side note.
Arie has almost shed out entirely, her winter coat. She looks different now. Her tail is the last thing to shed. I would guess in another week her shedding will be complete.