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.
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