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A Good Example for the “Porch Ornaments” August 11, 2006

Posted by Laura in Uncategorized.
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Since we got Klondike, I don’t think we have lost anymore of our poultry to four-footed predators.  He’s been doing an admirable job of guarding HIS flock.  Twice now, I have seen him tangle with the neighbor dog that has been treating our laying hens as his personal buffet.  Klondike doesn’t mind if he passes through, but takes offense if “Puppy” licks his chops and runs down his little charges.

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About a week ago, there were the unmistakable sounds of a dogfight, which brought me to the window.  Klondike was working Puppy over pretty well.  There was yelping and flying fur.  (I was proud of the “porch ornament” dogs, Lucy and Daisy, because this time they actually took Klondike’s part in the scuffle, not that he needed the help). 

After making his point and “re-directing” Puppy, Klondike sometimes trails him down to the end of the driveway to see him off.  Other times, he goes directly back to his chickens once he sees Puppy head in the direction of home.  (Pyrenees often work in pairs- one stays with the animals while the other chases off the predators. That way, if a pack of coyotes, for example, separates to accomplish their goal, the flock/herd is not left vulnerable.  Since Klondike works alone, he has to choose how long to leave the flock unattended).klondikeonduty8-10-06.JPG

This last time, Puppy doubled back when he saw Klondike had returned to the henhouse.  He decided to try for garbage instead.  Seeing all this happen out the window, I went to get Joe.  It has long been Joe’s goal to give Puppy a send-off that he won’t forget.  Joe was already asleep, but quickly leapt out of bed and got his pistol.  He keeps ratshot in the first round. 

Joe crept outside and around the side of the house.  After all these months, he finally had a good, close-up, no-way-he-could-miss shot.  I was inside by a dark window telling him which direction Puppy was looking and heading.  Then Lucy (who is nearly solid black) came lumbering out of the darkness from behind Puppy.  I started yelling not to shoot, afraid Lucy would take it in the face.  Puppy heard all this and began a quick retreat.  Joe took a shot once he got Lucy out of the field of view, but Puppy got away unscathed again.  Drat!

(By the way, we don’t store trash by the henhouse.  We learned the hard way that all animal food must be kept in metal trash cans or raccoons and other creatures of the night will eat it all).

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