Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘Belgian Shepherd

I’m Told

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I didn’t go home last night. I’m told there were six eggs collected from the nest boxes yesterday. Sounds reasonable.

My schedule is a little askew. I shifted my hours at the day-job yesterday to work around a couple of appointments, which had me on the clock until almost bedtime last night. Instead of driving all the way home for an hour, I spent the night at the in-laws’ place.

After a few hours of sleep, I’m heading right back to the day-job to pick up where I left off. Covering for sick or vacationing staff is starting to feel like normal operating mode lately. I don’t remember what it feels like to focus on one task at a time anymore.

I missed a little excitement on the ranch yesterday evening. I’m told Cyndie and Delilah spotted a red fox on one of our trails. When it saw them, it turned around and headed back into the woods.

We know there are predators out there, but actually seeing them roaming the grounds brings on a little extra anxiety over our lack of a workable plan to keep them at bay.

Cyndie let Delilah hustle up the trail to where they had seen the fox, but in that amount of time, there was no longer anything to see. Still, maybe there is a chance the sight of Delilah alerting to the fox caused it enough stress that it will see our property as threatening.

No, I don’t actually believe that. I’m just practicing wishful thinking.

I’m also told that Delilah is looking all fit and trim after a visit to the groomer yesterday. Hopefully that doesn’t make her look less intimidating to unwelcome predators lingering on our grounds.

As tough as it was witnessing Delilah gobble up that little stunned songbird last week, I’d be just fine watching her put some teeth to a prowling fox to make a point.

Foxes not welcome! Fox sightings lead to fox bitings!

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Written by johnwhays

September 12, 2018 at 6:00 am

Trying Hard

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Our wonderfully sweet and incredibly carnivorous Belgian Tervuren Shepherd, Delilah, was trying so hard to be a good cooperator yesterday for Cyndie. There is currently nothing more enticing to her than the scent of chicken manure and she has quickly figured out there is a really good supply of it around the chicken coop.

I suppose the presence of flittery feathered figures darting about enhances the allure quite a bit, but honestly, she seems almost more interested in the scent they leave behind. (I wish.)

In attempt to train her to better control her urges, Cyndie restrained Delilah a short distance from the coop while the chickens were romping in their courtyard and Cyndie was cleaning the coop. Delilah’s job was to practice staying calm while observing the action.

I think maybe she was closing her eyes in attempt to overcome the powerful drive revving inside her.

Sounds like it went well for a little while, but over time the urge would become unbearable. Delilah would get all wound up and let out a yelp. Next would come the nervous yawn.

After a little calm assurance from Cyndie, the exercise would resume for another round.

We are hoping to keep up a regular dose of exposure to the chickens for Delilah, while closely supervising her state of increasing excitement. In time, if we last long enough, she should become bored with the situation. When that happens, we ratchet up the exercise to bring her another step closer to the chickens while working to help her maintain a state of calm submission.

I am inclined to think we will get bored before she will, but I think the only alternative involves risks to the chickens that we don’t want to take.

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Written by johnwhays

May 11, 2017 at 6:00 am

Sweet Delilah

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Every day we seem to get a step closer to acclimating Delilah to her new surroundings, to us, and to our routines. Well, I guess nothing is routine for us lately, but we are trying to discover something of a routine involving her.

IMG_2479eI am feeling grateful that, of the options available to us, we ended up selecting the older dog. She already has been widely socialized, and is house trained and used to sleeping in a crate. She seems to have quickly accepted our night routine, and sleeps well for the hours that match our schedule. She has a cute cuddly cow and a squeaky lamb that she snuggles with in her crate, and last night, before we had headed for bed, Cyndie discovered Delilah had pulled her lamb and cow out of the crate and was wrapped up with them, falling asleep on the tile floor. Cyndie ushered her into bed in the crate.

I think the activities of the day had used up all her energy. That’s good to see, because otherwise, I worry that she will keep moving at her rapid puppy pace (for a 9-month-old Belgian Shepherd) long after we are out of gas.

We are keeping her on a leash, indoors and out, for the time being, allowing our indoor cats a chance to still have the bedroom as their protected sanctuary, and to develop a sense of the boundaries of our property outdoors. She almost pulled my arm out of the socket when a rabbit bolted out from under cover as we walked by. I get the feeling she won’t recognize any borders when it comes to pursuing bunnies or other potential prey.

Her demeanor is generally a pretty calm happiness. She rarely barks, which I am very happy about. Pretty much the only problem we are facing initially, is her desire to gnaw on anything and everything. She waited a full day, to allow us to grow complacent about the possibility, (which we did, leaving her way too many options of things on which she could sink her teeth) and then she surprised us by choosing to rip into the couch by the front door, the basket of slippers nearby, the dining room rug, a box outside by her doghouse, the corner of her new doghouse, and a couple of times, pulling things down off the counter in the kitchen.

DelilahLamb DelilahThrow DelilahBox

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Sweet as she is, we’ll need to stay diligent about policing the things that she devilishly finds interest in testing to the crunch of her teeth.

Written by johnwhays

July 14, 2013 at 7:00 am