I took this photo yesterday of Tanner on the left and Stella on the right greeting Maggie, our Maremma livestock guardian dog, and the goats. We had rotated the herd to a new paddock that is just below the house and adjacent to the front yard. This is the third time we’ve rotated them into that particular paddock since the forage season began in May, and each time both the goats and the house dogs are initially fascinated with each other — if only momentarily.
Maggie was nervous at first about being out by herself with the herd after Aaron went in for knee surgery, but after a few days she grew into the job. At just barely over a year of age, it’s early but she’s turned into quite the guardian. Here you can see she is quite accepting of the disabled dogs; she knows they belong there, and this close proximity doesn’t bother her.
However, yesterday evening after we had fed the dogs, I let Tanner out the front door and he raced down the ramp and across the front yard, running for the fence line and the goats on the other side, barking as he went. This was just excitement (“oh look, it’s been 45 minutes since I’ve seen them!”), not aggression, but in a flash Maggie materialized out of the herd from behind a goat and went straight to the fence to head him off, growling. So even though she accepts their presence, she is still — and always — on guard.
We always wonder what goes through a blind dog’s head when they meet the goats through the fence. What was Stella thinking? Here she is approaching the goats, before Tanner ran up to join her and before Maggie came up to supervise the greeting:
Whatever she was thinking, having the goats nearby is always kind of fun for the dogs!
2014 Fall Shelter Challenge Begins
The fall round of the Shelter Challenge for 2014 is underway. It began October 13 and ends November 23. You can vote every day at http://www.shelterchallenge.com/. To search for us, type in our name, Rolling Dog Farm, and Lancaster, NH 03584. We’ve won thousands of dollars in the previous contests, so your daily votes do bring in serious money for our disabled animals!
Please note that I cannot help with technical or voting problems. If you find yourself having issues, please consult their FAQ page and their Rules page.
Thanks for your votes!