Sunday, January 25, 2009

Henry the Show-dog

not to be confused with a dog-show dog. there is a colloquial phrase that incorporates the term "show" to mean great or the best. i'm not sure of the history of this but we have adopted it. although i stopped short before calling kassi my show-girl. that is just too weird.

anyway henry is the true show-dog. yesterday while i was at work tabitha was cleaning the house and paused in front of the sliding-glass door and henry spotted her and started going crazy barking and jumping against the fence frantically. tabitha ran out there to see what the trouble was. he promptly ran over to the cattle stock-tank where a pullet chicken had fallen in trying to get a drink. she promptly scooped it up. it was barely alive and freezing wet. she brought it into the house in a cardboard box and set it next to the warm wood stove.

the chicken is fine and happily laying eggs today. henry knows that those chickens are part of his pack. he fiercely protects them and guards his boundary with extreme prejudice. we feel safer everyday he is here. the neighbors are frightened of him because he is so huge and foreboding. i'm sure that strangers think the same thing.

we were told by his breeders that he'd start really guarding things at eight months and get more and more serious about it as he approached two years old. he does the classic great pyrenees dragging stuff around the fields. it's like he rearranges things for some aesthetic reason. he destroyed a few things but that is our bad leaving them in his domain.

he doesn't have easy access to the immediate yard but easily clears fences of this height. since he was a small puppy i have taught him to stay out of the yard and he respects that rule even when the gates are open and kids running back and forth. we plan to get a another great pyrenees in the spring--a girl. i guess having a pair of them is an almost infallible defense.

so, kudos to henry the show-dog and exhalations to his guarding prowess.

i have made serious effort to be sure that the chickens have unfrozen water as often as i can. i might have to purchase a waterer heater--yet another electric appliance for the bill.


Fleecenik Farm said...

We have a friend who has a Pyrenees that she keeps with her rams. Hi name is Henry too!.

Patt M said...

You can't beat a good farm dog! Well done Henry.

Beth said...

Whoo-hoo for Henry. High five and fist bump!! I, too, have been having trouble keeping the waterers thawed. I just hate to have a warmer though. That would be another drop cord ran across the labyrinth that's already there.

Have a great week.

Ed Abbey said...

I've seen several versions of some of solar heated stocktanks down in your neck of the woods and south. I would think with some greenhouse panels, you could make one that stays unfrozen in all but the worst cold days.

We used to use earth tubes for our livestock. They were 16 to 24" plastic tubes buried down well below the frost line in the soil and used the earth's natural heat to keep the water unfrozen in an insulated waterer set on top. They worked great but wouldn't work for chickens since they have insulated flaps that need to be lifed up by the animal to get to the water.

Woody said...

Henry the chicken saver...Our dogs would have been grateful that the bird was marinated before the meal.


warren said...


syncbox said...

wow, what a cool hero dog story! Henry's so big... does he try to jump up on people at all? I bet he could knock a cow over.

Matthew Daughters said...

Yoshi can do that.

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