My wife is a dog person. She wanted a dog. And while I don't ever remember agreeing to get one, I said that if we got one, I wanted it to be a big one.
So what happened? I came home from work one day to find this.
She went to the local SPCA and got a 7 lbs. pile of fuzz. The cats were not happy.
A year later and she looks like this.
The SPCA said that she was a Shepherd/Chow mix and that she'd be 50-65 lbs. Well, they were right about the weight. She's about 60 lbs. now. I'm not so sure about the breed(s). She does have a shepherd look to her even though her ears only stick up when she's excited about something. She doesn't have the blue-black tongue of a Chow. The groomer said she has the coat of a Border Collie. And she sure is smart, which Collies are known for. I taught her to shake in a day and to roll over in two.
For a while I thought she was pretty dumb. I think it had more to do with her being a puppy. She just wasn't careful or graceful (remember, I'm used to cats). Her mode of operation appeared to be, "Oh look! Something interesting! I'm going to hurl my massive body at it as quickly as possible and hope for the best!" At which point she was trip, tumble, fall, or crash into something. She'd get up and walk it off like nothing happened and the thing she was chasing (generally a squirrel) would get away. She still chases squirrels, but she isn't quite as reckless now.
Speaking of chasing things... It's just been in the last two months that she finally stopped chasing the chickens. She never hurt them. She just liked to chase them and get them riled up. It was probably the herding instinct. Anyway, she got smacked a few times and finally figured out that she had to leave them alone. Now she gives them plenty of space when she's in the yard with them.
So what is the point I'm trying to make with this post??? Last night I let her out into the yard. I heard her barking which isn't unusual. I went out to see what was going on. I called and she wouldn't come in (that is unusual). She was making a lot of noise. I went to see what the fuss was about and caught her going under the fence into the chicken's area. "Uh-oh." I thought, "She knows better than to go in there." So I rushed around through the gate and what did I find?
Eek! A dang opossum! It was dark, so I went back inside and got a flashlight and a camera. I left the dog to keep an eye on the thing.
Thank goodness for the dog! I had actually left the door on the coop open last night. It very easily could've gotten in there and killed some or all of the chickens. I counted the chickens to make sure they were all there and then promptly closed up the coop. The opossum was not dead. I could see it breathing and every so often an ear would twitch.
At that point I needed to figure out what to do. The dog kept poking it with her foot. Then she'd bark at it profusely. The chickens were safe, but she was not going to let it alone. So I got a soccer ball sized rock, and hit the thing with it. It didn't move, but it looked like it was still breathing. Then I picked it up with a shovel and tossed it over the fence into the woods. I felt bad, but what can you do. They are disease carrying, chicken eating rodents. I don't want it around here.
When I went out this morning it was gone. I'm assuming that I didn't kill it and it wandered off. Either that or something bigger picked it up and carried it off. In either case, I'm glad it's gone, and I'm glad I have a dog.
Having a dog is great. She's always happy to see me when I come in the door. She's alert. She let's us know when someone comes to the door. And best of all, she's scaring away critters that are snooping around the chicken coop. I guess you could say that I'm now a dog person.