Tuesday, November 24, 2009

henry went to the veterinarian

henry has been sick and not really eating. we thought the worst. our vet is our large animal vet too. they understand that henry is a working farm dog. they understand that we love him a true love but his real value is that he protects our farmstead. i told them that he has never even been in the car.

things were a lot different from when most people who take their dogs to the vet. henry is not leash trained. in-fact he has never had a collar on him. i don't want to put a collar on him it just seems wrong for henry--each dog is different. to further complicate things henry doesn't come when you call him like most dogs will. when i call him he has always taken it more like a suggestion. eventually when he has resolved all other things he has bouncing around in his head he'll come. sometimes it is right away. other times if he hasn't checked the perimeter in a while he'll give things a good look around the be sure things won't fall apart while he is getting petted. he takes his job very seriously and i figure anything else i do as far as training goes will only detract from that.

so given the above constraints how does a person get a huge one hundred pound dog into the vet? luckily i'm fairly strong. i carried him. tabitha arranged the proper door people and that a room would be waiting. the waiting room made a singular gasp when they saw me with this huge thing in my arms. he is one quarter Komodor which means he is very fluffy and looks like he weighs two hundred pounds. he weighed in at ninety four pounds.

i am always surprised by peoples reaction to henry. he is a very scary presence. to us he is just henry. our big fluffy teddy bear that would die rather let something hurt his pack. he was very confused but well mannered as always. they said he has a temperature and likely has a tick borne illness. they prescribed antibiotics and pain killers and said, of the multitude of treatable things that can cause his symptoms, this medicine will fix it. we are hopeful.

we love henry and he is trained just the way we like him. he doesn't go into the yard and he protects us with a ferocity that is so comforting that we don't know what we'd do without him. when i set him down at home it was in the yard where he has never been. rome pounced on top of him. rome loves henry and henry has a special tolerance for rome's nose grabbing, hair pulling ways. we gave him his medicine and i carried him to his pastures. he seemed happy to be home. it was almost like he though he was never going to go back home again.

we are getting a companion for henry very soon. lgd's preform better in teams. we want to never be without livestock guardian dogs ever. our life is too enhanced by their presence.


bioticks said...

Nice to regularly ready from your blog. Gives me courage, even though many thousand miles away in India, to dream to go backwards (the real forwards). Nice! We have sowed foxtail millet in the little land we have. And they are so beautiful.

Wendy said...

I hope Henry feels better soon. He sounds like a great companion to your family, and just based on how you've written about him, he's obviously loved. Having "rescued" a few dogs in my day, I can attest that all a dog really wants is to know where he belongs.

I guess they're not so different from people in that way.

sheila said...

I got 2 female Pyr pups this spring. They went to vet for spaying last week. I was really worried as they had never been inside before. They were perfect sweethearts and it was no problem. Other than a learning curve for them to figure out it wasn't good to hold chickens down and lick their feathers off they have been wonderful dogs. They are doing much better with poultry, although at 7 months of age I don't fully trust them yet. Before I got the dogs the raccoons killed all my chickens. Since then everything, including the neighbors dog stays off my property.

Beau said...

Hope Henry is okay. Your love for hime shines through, and even more, your respect. A good dog means all the world.

Pablo said...

I know how tough it is to go to the vet, even with my small dogs. And I know what a dog means to a family. I'm glad it looks as though it's going to be fine.

Gina said...

Wishing him a speedy recovery!!

I can relate completely to the leash training (well, lack of...) and the car issue. All of my farm dogs get car sick and they pull leashes in opposite directions than the one you want them to go.

Astrid is a doll and such a great name!

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